Wow, this PC vs. Mac thing goes as deep as knit vs. crochet.
Here's a bit more details on the story.
The iPod suffered some catastrophic failure. It can not be restored, reset or even diagnosed. Just as the parrot in the Monty Python sketch, it is deceased.
I was offered another iPod for $99 with only a 90 warranty. (This is the point when I cursed at the "Genius" who was "assisting" me.) I said, "So when this thing dies on the 91st day, I'm fucked?" Answer: Yes. I was also offered a chance to "recyle" my iPod and get 10% off another one--but not the Shuffle. There was some third option but I was so blinded by rage at that point I couldn't focus--I think it has something to do with letting some third-party repair guy have at it. The "Genius" who stared me down with a wounded, glassy-eyed gaze, confided that he understood my frustration because the same thing happened to him. I can only say that telling me that this happens all the time was not the most soothing, reassuring thing he could have told me.
At the risk of coming perilously close to saying, "In my day..." I will say consumer electronics should not be disposable. I know that they now are but, really, they shouldn't be. If iPods or cell phones or any other electronic device is intended to be disposable--which, again, they shouldn't be--they should be priced accordingly. I have no desire to pay $300+ a year for the pleasure of using an iPod. Once upon a time I had a little mp3 player. It was tiny, had very little storage space, no display, etc. It broke in less than a year. It also cost less than $50. It still pissed me off but at that price I could kind of live with it. I foolishly thought that if I paid twice as much as I paid for a new monitor for my computer or three times what I paid for my most reliable PDA (a Handspring Visor which I love)I would get a piece of equipment that was built to hold out for longer than a year.
Okay, I'm done. Time to stuff down my feelings of rage into a hard little ball deep inside me.