's suggestion, I have now replaced my creaking-at-the-seams, bulky and battery-dead MP3 player with a smaller, lighter and more capacious model from Apple(!), namely a second hand 80GB 5th generation iPod.
I've now loaded 50+ GB of music onto it (thank you, Media Monkey - no iTunes will be allowed on this machine).
I have to say, it's pretty cute for its generation.
The reason for going for that is that the new generation of models from Cowon and Co. look very nice, but I think that what I really, really want isn't quite
here yet. Namely, a flash-based one that understands the SDXC flash format, and that can head for the 128GB mark. So I'm going with the iPod for now. If I get a few thousands hours of listening out of it (which I reckon I did with my previous one), I'll be happy.
(One of these days, I may total how much an hour I've been paying to listen to music on MP3 players. The previous player amortised at about 5p/hour. The earplugs have been more than that - they're newer - but they show no sign of giving up yet.)