....waiting for the next "hot" thing to come out. I haven't heard any rumors, apart from the "true" video iPod, but you're not interested in that anyway. I may not be listening hard enough, though.

CES is still a little ways off and if your friend wants a player soon, he or she should be happy with what is available now.

You could ask yourself, "what really cool feature should be added to a player that's currently not on any player currently on the market?" and listen for the rumors. If you can't think of anything (I can't right now, at least anything that I would be willing to shell out more bucks for), you may have your answer.