My 3rd Gen 20GB iPod just kicked the bucket
, not that bad because i was goin to replace it soon anyway, i looked at the Creative Vision "M" 30GB, and on paper its (much) better then the ipod, but its not in real life, its not user friendly, they ship it wth 4 of there own buggy apps, and it does not mount under Windows as a removable drive (this is acording to their tech people), which means you cant put data files on it, not good. I store all sorts on my ipod, software, documents, etc.
So after much reading, I just got the 5th gen ipod (ordered it 10mins ago), i realy dont care if people who see me with it think im an apple fan boy, the fact of the mater is, i'll have one and they wont. Plus the ipod is easy to use, and ideal for my needs.
I have a 1GB Sony Mp3 player kicking about somewhere, mostly use it for the gym, its good, simple to use and light, with 15+ hours battery life.
Anyway, back to your questions, iAudio make amazing MP3 players, very high quality, just because their not very well known, dont left it put you off, find a shop with one and ask for a demo. Im sure the sales staff will help.
Reason i didnt get a nano is because there far too expensive, 4GB is £160 i got the 30GB for £170.