"given Microsoft?s less than impressive Zune music player "
What a tool. The Zune 80 and the little 4 and 8 gig flash zunes defeat the iPod in all known ways. They have been extremely well received by the press, and although they have nowhere near the marketshare of the sheep-tastic iPod, it is certainly the best player out there for the moeny at this time -- for less than a similarly equipped iPod, you get wireless syncing, wireless song sharing, an FM radio and a far easier to use and better designed interface. The Zune software is light years ahead of Apple's iTunes as well.
Don't hate the Zune. Having a Zune with a Zune Pass is awesome. You can download and stream full songs and they work for custom soundtracks on Xbox 360. No better way to expand your music horizon's than being able to download a 200 song hand-picked new playlist every week (e.g., New and Necessary, Hip Hop Collection, etc.). It's great.
If they were able to come out with a nice phone that works with the Zune Pass I'd definitely be interested. Verizon is doing this now with Rhapsody but that stuff doesn't integrate with Windows Media Center or Xbox 360 as far as I know so I'm not as interested.
i have a creative zen, its a successor to the ipod nano... and boy let me tell you, it is better than my old nano...it's response time is a bit slower, and it freezes like once every 4 months, but at less than half the price, expandable memory, microphone, and radio, im willing to deal with that... o and can't forget you don't need that appallign itunes to use it
and my sister has a zune, i liek ti way better than the ipod, sure its bigger, but it has a promising feel to it... if its for tmobile, i might get my hhands on one