Well, I have just checked my back E-Mails and run a quick test and discovered that I had it bass ackward sigh.
The rechargeables WILL start up the charging circuit. 4 new Alkalines will not.
I discussed this with Gomadic at one point and they said the problem is in the iPod circuitry, not their charger. They suggested that a workaround was to use 3 new alkalines and 1 old one.