I had the same problem with the sony buds. The rubbery cable gets shredded and then falls off after a couple months of regular use. I think its like a expiration date for sony. ''Oh, its been 3 months now...time to buy new headphones.'' I suggest the Sennheiser MX55V. They are really good and under $40.00
My earbuds keep breaking. I've tried a few of the CNET recommended earbuds, but it's expensive to replace them every few months. The wires seem to break near the connection to my MP3 player (Samsung YP-MT6X). I'm going back to using speakers for now, but that means that I can't keep listening to my podcasts as I walk.
I generally prefer earbuds since the foam inserts can isolate me from some of my noisy environments. Any suggestions for decent earbuds that will stand my torture test?