I have been doing a lot of browsing on this subject recently, and the stock answer to this question does indeed seem to be Sansa Clip – v inexpensive, quite tough, small, big capacity, good sound – plus it has a radio (which I would appreciate).
I also ran across Colorfly C3 though, which can be got for £75 ish on ebay import – apparently extremely high quality and certainly a bit different. This one is as-new [/url]
Decent set of ‘phones to add to that – Brainwavz R1 are supposedly excellent.
Not that I have any direct experience of any of that, but I have invested/wasted a lot of time looking into and reading between the lines of reviews.
My experience runs only to fairly extensive reading reviews etc – interface, extra features etc all very basic or non-existent on the Colorfly. Build and sound quality are fantastic though, supposedly.
For my own part I decided that additional stuff such as internet services (Spotify, online radio etc) and browsing/video were attractive enough to make me wait until I can get an iPod touch, but if sound quality on my own tracks were number one and only priority I think I’d try the Colorfly.