First off, I've had an iRiver H10 6gb hard drive for a year, and i haven't had any problems with it.
Back to the question...
Well, if you do not need so much capacity, you should get a flash drive.
a good flash drive in 2gb or less range is iRiver clix. Sandisk makes a flash drive that goes from 2gb up to 6 gb.
But if you do need a lot of capacity, I would say get something like... a creative zen vision:M (30gb). Or even Cowon A2 (available in 20 or 30 gb).
But if you have a lot of tracks PURCHASED from iTunes, then I'm sorry ('cause I don't like ipods), then you'll have to stick with the ipod.
Hi, I bought two Iriver's last Christmas and one of them has broken because of the hard drive. I bought this as a gift for someone and later he found out that they designed the hard drive to break so he bought an Ipod. Now the hard drive in the Ipod has broke but thankfully he has a warranty. My Iriver's hard drive is starting to make noise since it's being used more by my boyfriend until he gets his Ipod fixed. I also know that if you charge the Iriver too much that can crash the hard drive and I've been needing to charge it everyday. So I was wondering if there are any MP3 Players out there were the hard drive isn't designed to break? Or can at least last longer than a year?