The iPod dominates the MP3 player market, so few question whether there is something better and/or more affordable on the market. However, if you look around, there are much better options out there. One such option is the Sansa Rhapsody e200 series.
The Sansa Rhapsody is a nice size with a 1.8 inch screen (which is larger than the iPod Nano screen). The screen has a great color display with adjustable backlight settings. The display is easy to read in light or dark and is nice for viewing album art, pictures and videos. It fits easily in a pocket or the palm of your hand.
It is very durable and scratch resistant, with a sleek black design. I've owned mine for around two years and it still looks and plays wonderfully.
The battery is rechargable (you plug it into your PC via USB cable) and lasts for around 20 hours. It is available in 2GB, 4GB, 6GB and 8GB capacities and is compatible with MicroSD flash memory cards which allow for even more content storage and portability.
The package includes earbuds, a lanyard, a USB cable and a travel pouch, as well as the software CD and of course the player itself. The included earbuds aren't the greatest but this is still a great value.
The Sansa Rhapsody e200 series is not only cheaper than the iPod, but also more convinient. Instead of being restricted to the $0.99 a song iTunes store, you can explore other music subscription services. Overall, it is a great MP3 player and I highly recommend it and the rest of the Sansa lineup.