hey...i was reading your post (duh)...im lookign to get an ipod too...they fixed the battery problem in the non-mini ones, so i would suggest getting one of those...im looking to get a 20gb one...the mini's are a rip off, they have only 4 gb and for less then $250 dell offers a better deal with there mp3 player...ipods are really the best though, they look great, sound great...everything is great about them, except they are expensive....
there is also a website that gives them out for free (really, check this out, this guy made a tribute to his http://geocities.com/ghettopia/freeipod.htm
)...i would strongly suggest trying it...it requires you give your email address to them to 'spam', but just make up one so you wont really check /care about...they also want you to sign up for a trial offer...like video professor...thats what i picked...and in about 5 minuted i canceled it...so i will get my 6.95 for shipping back and i wont have paid anything to them...it will just look like i did to the freeipods site...then you have to get 5 people to do the same...i helped one person, and now i need some people to help me...so if want to spend 10 min and get a 'free' (you waste a tad a time, and some trials make you pay $6 shipping..but thats soo much less then an ipod)...check out this site...and help me be on my way to a free ipod.....http://www.freeiPods.com/default.aspx?referer=7319923
so, in conclusion:
1. go to: http://www.freeiPods.com/default.aspx?referer=7319923
2. from this site you can chose a mini, a 20gb, or $250 in itunes
3. you then have to sign up for a trial (ancestry, BMG, ebay) (need credit card)
4. then you must cancel the trial (one you get credit for it, many options are instant, i would suggest those)
5. then you ahve to get 5 people to do the same...then in a few weeks you get an ipod...for real...google it if you think it is a scam...