You could go to your options and turn off the option that has iTunes load when your iPod is connected. You'll then not have to worry about it syncing up until you load up iTunes and tell it to.
Hmmm, I just found a new hardware trick with my iPod, but the thought just occurred to me that I could be damaging it.
I have an old Pentium 4 PC with my iTunes, so it takes iTunes awhile to unmount/eject my iPod when its plugged it. I found, if I have the USB cord that connects to my iPod in about half way, its enough for the power to reach, so I can recharge my iPod without having Windows or iTunes recongize my iPod.
This is handy when I don't want to add or remove songs, but just need to recharge it, but, can I harm it or its battery if I do this?