Again: ouch. That's a bugger, samac. I'm sorry to hear that.
I'm having trouble understanding (generally, not just in this instance) why iRiver is so expensive. I'm really quite happy overall with the Story, but wow(!) it ain't cheap.
I have momentary pangs of jealousy over the lower cost and wider features and deeper userbase of the new Kindles ... until I remember that I deliberately chose not to buy into a proprietary format. I'm guessing you feel something similar?