The Connect Reader software has its problems and "eBook Library 2.0" will be a welcome upgrade for all Sony Reader owners. Even though the Connect Music Store seemed doomed to failure from the start (iTunes already had the battle won), Sony regularly updated the Sonic Stage software, and each version was better than the previous one. My 3 year old Network Walkman device is still supported. From a user standpoint, Sonic Stage was no better or worse than iTunes, IMHO.
Apple was lauded for providing an integrated solution for buying and using music and other audio. I don't like DRM or proprietary formats any more than anyone else but sometimes I think Sony gets unfairly slammed for doing the same things that Apple does.