Though I'm now a huge fan of my iPod Touch, I still turn to the Zen from time to time for its superior compatibility, especially with video. I could buy the video output equipment for my Touch, but I don't really see a reason to do so when I already have the Zen Video Cable, which conveniently plugs right into the dongle already included with the player for USB and AC power. It might be old and sluggish by today's standards, but with a 60gb hard drive, my Zen serves as a more portable Apple TV of sorts. I can load almost any video format I want onto it and watch it on my TV. It's also great for photo slideshows, and of course music. In fact, audiophiles won't be surprised to hear that the Zen's signal-to-noise ratio still puts the iPod to shame. Another small, but neat feature is the programmable wild card button that you can set to perform any function you want. I use it to play the entire music library on shuffle.
Sure, the Zen has its flaws too. The interface is a copy of the iPod Video interface, with the exception that it allows for custom wallpapers and a choice of color schemes. Also, instead of a click wheel, the Zen has a vertical-only touchpad. The Zen is pretty thick, about twice the thickness of a 30gb iPod Video, but if you just use it as a stay-at-home video player, as I now do, that won't matter much at all.
All in all, I still love my Zen Vision: M, if not for its form factor and GUI, then for its compatibility with virtually all popular audio and video formats. I'll continue to use it as my own version of an Apple TV until someone convinces me there's something better for my needs, or until it stops working. Whichever comes first.
Not to make a big deal of it, but I've just realized that this is my 100th post. I set out to write a semi-regular blog and stick with it for as long as possible for a change. I've blogged before, but this is easily the longest-running blog I've ever maintained, and I've been far more interested in this project than in my previous attempts. I owe this mainly to the support I've gotten from readers who have commented here, on Twitter, and on Friendfeed, so thanks to all of you! I hope to keep this going for a long time to come.