I actually have been researching the alternative Media players other than the iPod and found A LOT. One thing I have found is the market for the PMP or Personal Media Player. Like the iPod Touch and video nano's they play music and video. They have MUCH larger space than the ipods out there and many have SDHC memory addition slots so you can have as much space you want. You can have all your videos etc on a 16GB or 8GB SDHC card and the rest of your music on the built in memory.
What I found out is that many people want lots of space and tons of battery life. Who needs 60GB's of movies and videos when the batteries audio play back only lasts 13 hours or video of 4 hours? So I have considered Hard Drive based PMP's or MP3 players useless. So I have done some research on a few players and brands and here's a brief description of those brands:
Creative - From what I have heard they have pretty good MP3 players and PMP's. Some of there flag ship models include the Zen X-Fi, the Zen Vision, and the Zen. Their Flash models have decent battery life. None of there players however have touch screens, unlike many of the other competition. They do have plenty of flash models and they many of them have SDHC ports to expand the memory of the players greatly.
Archos - One of the biggest rivals to the iPod touch etc. They just released a new line of PMP's with a new name: IMT's or Internet Media Tablets. These have very nice wireless capability's and are nice portable web browsers. There new line however does not have a Flash Player so the battery life is questionable at 14 Hours audio and 4 hours video. One good aspect of these are the screen size however. 5 Inch, and 7 inch screens at a resolution of 800x480 with amazing detail are the attractive points of these players. All models are able to browse the web with a Opera Browser. The flag ship model is the Archos 5G will allows you to browse the web etc and use the player as a phone! Rival of the iPhone maybe, as it has yet to be released.
Cowon - Maybe the best rival to the little apple is Cowon. Its current line of players consist of one flash player capable of video playing (Cowon D2) and a few HDD players with decent battery life. Again there are the monster players that are not usable for compact uses but the Cowon D2 is one of the best PMP's for sale right now. A 2.5 inch screen at 320x240 and available in 2,4,8, and 16Gb models ALL with SDHC ports. Battery life of 10 hours video and 50 hours audio! This is the only company I have researched that can use FLAC(Free lossless audio CODEC) audio files for you audiophiles out there. If your looking to buy this wait as there should be a new Cowon S9 and the O2 coming out by the end of this year. The limited specs reveled on the website( http://www.cowonglobal.com/
) but look very nice.
Cowon and Creative are sold on newegg but Archos has only 2 being sold on newegg.
Your welcome for the LONG post as I was board and had nothing else to do.