I was actually completely uninterested in the iPod shuffle until I read this many weeks ago: Quantifying Bass Performance in Digital Audio Players, which was a companion piece to his PC Magazine column. Great piece of reporting & comparison. Hard to believe him and pinhead John Dvorak work for the same people. (link goes to slashdot, no pagerank for you, John.)
Anyhow, the shuffle does indeed sound good. I received as a gift (thanks Joe!) and I like the size of it. Imagine, if you will, a small display down the middle of the thing, or....even cooler, a scrolling display under the play button. Anyhow, nice little gadget, and light as a feather. Super handy. I haven't owned an iPod until now, and while I've understood why people love them, I haven't been driven to spend the extra cash they command.