I can see a new generation of MP3 players coming just around the corner. Something like the Mojo, but using CompactFlash memory or compatible micro hard drives instead of SD cards. These have a much higher capacity and aren't any more expensive and you'd basically end up with an iPod mini which could be expanded with additional removable memory units. It would also be nice to see them incorporating AM as well as FM radio in the designs. You'll see these by next Christmas, and by then the firmware kinks the current players have ought to be sorted out as well. So, if you don't have a 12 year old clammoring for an iPod right now, you should probably hold out and see what the next year brings.
One thing I did find while shopping around was a really exceptional set of ear plugs. The ear plugs which are supplied with the various MP3 players, including the iPod are barely adequate. The sound quality is usually fair, but suffers from the fact that they are relatively hard and rigid in shape and therefore don't really fit your ear very well, and a poor fit means the sound doesn't resonate well. They're also quite uncomfortable. The obvious alternative is to go with real headphones that cover the ears, but they're bulky and inconvenient. In my manic shopping around I found something even better. Koss makes a set of ear plugs called "The Plug" which are truly exceptional. They enhance the standard design with large foam adapters which are provided in half-a-dozen different shapes to fit any ear. The adapters fit over a sound transmitting tube which carries the sound into the inner ear, and once you find the adapter that's right for your ear there's no loss of sound around the edges like you have with standard ear plugs. The result is far superior comfort and sound quality, and they're a great purchase at around $10. If you're looking for a stocking stuffer to go with your daughter's iPod, look no further.(The Plug on Amazon)