I've never used anything but iPod and iPhone so I can't compare. Two things about Apple products are the price and the reputation of being good products.
My iPod is over three years old and has worked flawlessly other than a few reboots like any other computer, and the iPhone is my new best friend. Apple makes Nano, and other smaller MP3 players that don't cost an arm and a leg and will hold 1000 songs.
Look at the top of this page, http://store.apple.com/us
, and also check www.macmall.com
for specials this time of year.