My original Story has given up the ghost, sadly.
The screen stopped working. It's 19 months old, still within its original 3-year warranty, so I sent it off for repairs. The repair company has come back to me to say it's "obviously" user-caused damage - they claim the screen is "cracked", but it certainly bloody wasn't when I sent it to them!! - and so I have to pay for the repair.
They want three hundred and ninety-nine dollars
just to replace the screen, a figure that simply made me gasp. No better: if I want the unit returned to me, I have to pay $120 to cover their repair technician's time in assessing it. If I don't pay the money, I don't get the device back.
As far as I can see, this is simply extortion and theft. I sent it off in good faith, under a warranty that I had already paid for. It's their assessment that this is non-warrantable damage, but from comments their staffer made when he called me yesterday afternoon I strongly suspect that this is simply the tack they've decided will lead them to the maximum profit for the minimal effort on their part. (Oh, and if I pay for the screen to be replaced, I get only a 30-day limited warranty on it. For $399 I get only a 30-day warranty?!! Plus the rest of my warranty period, which I had paid for, disappears down the tubes.)
So, the best of a bad range of options is to buy a new device. The problem for me is that I don't like the new iRiver models - too small, too dinky, too limited in capabilities and performance - plus the people who distribute and support iRiver products here in Australia have shown themselves to be pirates who by their pricing seem to think they're onto a captive market that they can simply milk dry. I don't want a Kindle (lack of epub support is the main Kindle-killer for me) and I don't really want to be herded into the cattle-pens of companies like Sony, but it's looking like I don't have much of an alternative. I'll check out the Kobo Touch too, I think.
End of my sad tale.