Obviously, being a Mac owner, buying anything but the iPod would be sacrilige I guess..
And, basically iPod is the best player out there *, so I'm not sure why I would look for something else.
(* Best in the sense that it has among the best in a lot of areas, even if you could find players that's better in some specific areas)
But, I wanted to make sure it is the best player (sort of).
Basically I want one that both plays MP3 as well as allow me to store images from my camera on it (Which means a HD player in the first place). That way, one with built in Card Reader would've been a plus. Not a must, but I would prefer if it had a radio as well.
The very same day I spent a lot of time looking for MP3 players, I got mail from Apple about the release of their iPod Photo..
When other players close in, Apple seem to just take another step forward, keeping the distance..
The negative thing with iPod is the fact that they're expensive. Especially iPod Photo. A portable HD with a card-reader and about 40 GB cost about half of what the 40 GB iPod cost, and with the iPod Photo you still have to buy a Belkin adapter to be able to transfer the content of the Memory card out in the field.
The positive thing. It does have a good MP3 player in it, it has an attractive size (using a 1.8" HD instead of the 2.5" HDs you usually find in portable HDs) and the main benefit of the iPod photo. It comes with a colur screen that allow you to actually watch the photos you've got stored on it (As well as some basic games, ability to store Text-files, adressbook etc), while most other Photo Storage HDs only come with a basic monocrome display that only show statitstics and process. Heck. The iPod Photo even comes with a TV-out making it possible to hook it up to a TV and watch the images (Which make it possible to have a portfolio on it and show to people).
But, as I said.. it's expensive, and i don't know what to do.. Buy that, or a cheaper portable Photo Storage HD, and then a small MP3-player on the side.