Yes, you have to use iTunes
Rob, the Creative Zen player is just over there --->
Personally, I can't stand having to copy files individually to and from players, and would far rather ask iTunes to keep my database up to date, based on what's set in my iTunes. So I'll stick with Apple devices.
The width of these new Nanos puts me off a bit, though. If the thing is going to be that wide, I can't think why you wouldn't just pay the extra and get 10 TIMES the disk space with a full-size one. But then, I did exactly that last generation. I suppose some people just don't need the space.
As for the complaint that the screen is 4x3, and that means black bars on widescreen material, well, yes. But a 16x9 screen means bars on 4x3 material too, and I find telly stuff more suitable to the tiny screen of my iPod than films anyway, so I'm not bothered. Everything is a compromise of some kind or another when it comes to aspect ratios.