Perfect excuse for me to post my experience. I set out to purchase my 2 teenage daughters new mp3 players just prior to Christmas. I was looking at the 30 gb iPods and the Zune. I had read online about the Zune and it seemed to have some interesting features that the iPod lacked, i.e. bigger screen, fm radio, wi-fi, etc. I decided to go to a couple of local retailers to check them out - but as stated above - the Zunes were "locked down" and I really wasn't able to get a feel for the size / weight of the device. I decided that this was done by design, so as not to let the consumer see tha the Zune was a bit "bulkier" and certainly not as sexy in a side by side comparison with the iPod. Unfortunately, it also prevented me from picking one up and thinking, "hey, this is pretty light and really doesn't feel all that bad in the hands" afterall.
Ultimately, I decided the iPods would be a safer bet for me as the girls were already familiar with them, they were definitely sexier, etc. I discussed my experience with my wife and told her I thought the Zune had potential but that the iPods were probably the way to go. bought 2 30gb iPods for the girls and they were thrilled at Christmas.
Afterward I commented to my wife that those iPods were pretty cool and I wouldn't mind getting one for my birthday coming up in January. LOL. Remembering my comments about the Zune my wife proceeded to let a sales person talk her into the Zune for me. When I opened it up it was with a bit of trepidation - I was excited at getting a new player, but had kind of settled on the iPod as being the way to go. Wasn't too sure about the Zune. Much to my surprise, I absolutely fell in love with the Zune. I have a Zune pass and now my wife wants a Zune as well. In hind sight I really wish I had gotten the girls Zunes so we could all play with the wi-fi feature (even though it is a bit crippled without the hack). I have also encoded lots of my favorite tv shows and synced them to my Zune so I have some added "filler" when I am sitting around waiting on my daughters' various sports activities. Love the viewing experience.
Oh, and an additional bonus is that I was able to plug the AV cable into my Pioneer N2 navigation screen in my truck with 0 issues. Displays the album art, song, etc. right on my nav screen. Really sweet! Sounds great too!!
I agree its too early to call these things a flop - and I for one am rootin for them to succeed big time.