Re: hard drive players...
I have a 6th gen 80GB model that is still seeing at least 5 hours of use a day connected by usb to my cat stereo. On battery it still manages ~25 hours of play per charge.
I also have a 6th gen 160GB model that has barely been used, bought it for home use connected to my stereo but almost never turned it on. It's battery still runs almost 30 hours.
I love the Classic, much more than the 4th gen Touch that I was given as a gift.