(Not an iPod)
Telling people not to buy an iPod is like telling the Middle East to be easy. But I'm going to try this again, chill on the iPod purchases for a minute.
Not because it has become a status symbol of our thoughtless all-consuming commodity culture but because there may be a new and better status symbol coming out within the next 6 months and it may not be a newer iPod (which should also be out in the next 6 months.)
Bill Gates is tired of seeing people running around Microsoft HQ with little white earbuds and thus Microsoft is coming out with their own portable media player, although it's not the most original looking device out there.
And when Microsoft comes out with something, they make sure it wins.
They are talking about allowing you to swap your iTunes songs (that you bought legally, you thieves...) with their Microsoft songs for free and promoting this whole movement with a Super Bowl ad so that fools recognize that Billy G is in town and he doesn't like them Apples...
It should be out before Christmas, read more about it here.
If you don't have that kind of patience you can easily find a superior replacement that costs less, for any iPod out there today.
The iPod Shuffle ($70) is < The Dell Ditty ($40 for a horribly named product)
The iPod Nano ($250) is < The Sandisk Sansa E200 ($230 for another poorly named product, but they did create the iDont.com site.)
The iPod Video ($300) is < Toshiba Gigabeat ($270)
If you can't keep up with it all, there is one gadget that you can cop that will help you deal with all of this.
The cellphone gun.