The reason for the pricing is that flash memory is more expensive per GB than hard drive memory. (Flash memory - solid state, no moving parts vs. hard drive - similar to what you have in your computer, only smaller) So the Zen V plus is more expensive per GB than the Vision M.
If you want something that is more durable and lightweight for activities like running and working out, you might want to go for the Zen V Plus. Right now capacities top out at 8GB, but if you can find the SanDisk Sansa e200 series player, you can add a 2GB microsd card. The series tops out at 8GB, so you could get up to 10GB with the card.
But if you want more memory and more value, then go for the Vision M. For active uses, try using an armband so that you won't drop it. It seems the only problem you have with your current player, which has a hard drive, is with the headphone jack. So maybe the dropping isn't too much of an issue. Most hard drive players can handle a few bumps. Anyway, with your new player, if you're not doing so already, when you're not using it, don't keep the headphones plugged in. If you already do this, my apologies. I'm not trying to assume anything, just giving advice.
Neither of these players have a removeable/replaceable battery. However, the SanDisk Sansas do.
I currently own a Creative Zen Micro(6GB), but over the past week or so, I have been experiencing problems with the headphone jack (music playing from one side of my headphones only)
Now I've decided that I want a good, strong, durable mp3 player to suit my needs. I'm a quite active sporty, yet clumsy(sometimes) individual, so I really need a durable player.
Over the past week, I've been researching on both these players, looking at their pros & cons.
I live in England and currently in many retail shops, the Creative Zen V Plus(8GB) is selling at