I definitely agree with Waitorious...save some money for headphones, if you don't have any already. For a company that prides itself on high quality products, Apple's headphones are a BAD joke, some the worst sounding and least comfortable things I've had the displeasure of putting in my ear.
Noted. I've got a pair of headphones (of the old fashioned, over-the-ear type) that I'm fond of, so I'll probably use them.
RE: Zen X-fi2: My sister has one, and I really can't get on with the UI. Nice idea, shame that (in my experience) it was too fiddly and it just got frustrating. Maybe I'll get used to it over time, but honestly? I'd be inclined to give it a pass. That's not to say about the quality of the rest of the player, I'm a bit of a Creative fanboy myself (aforementioned current MP3 is a Creative Zen Vision M. Mint player, shame it was pretty much Creative's last in the hard drive MP3 player market, although I supposed flash based players are finally starting to reach the Vision M's 30Gb.) and would recommend the Zen X-fi 2 over (for example) one of the new iPod Nanos (which seems to be an even larger exercise in touch-based UI frustration, not to mention quite a bit more expensive than its rivals).
RE: volume controls: I'm used to having to go back to the Now Playing screen to change volume. I realise I could just go Menu Button > Set Volume, but I couldn't be arsed.
RE: smartphone: Nope. I have difficulty spending £10 a month on my bog-standard pay as you go phone, I see no reason to spend £15 a month (or worse, £30-ish a month for an iPhone) on a more expensive phone. Alternatively, stupid moneys up front and getting fobbed off by bandwidth charges. Again, nope.
RE GoGear: A quick Amazon search suggests that this
is the only 32+Gb model available in the range, and another quick look at reviews suggests that they're mixed. Hmmm...