From the sound of your posts, you don't own one of the new Shuffles, so I find it hard to take your recommendation seriously. You cannot give us an opinion about a product that you don't even own.
From even a cursory glance at the new Shuffle, res ipsa loquitur
. It is quite obvious that the new Shuffle will not operate without special headphones, or a dongle. As a silly example to illustrate my rebuttal: If Coca-Cola released a new soda that required their own special bottle opener to drink it, would you need to own the soda to give a recommendation?
Why would you want to get aftermarket headphones, anyway? Most people (including myself) use iPods in public, on noisy trains or busses, or on the street. I never saw the purpose to buying better aftermarket headphones when you can never hear the fidelity anyway.
I explain in my original post why I use aftermarket headphones. It has nothing to do with audio fidelity. It has everything to do with comfort and safety.
Most people (including myself) who use iPod Shuffles
use them when running, working out, or doing other physically active activities. I have seen countless sets of Apple headphones that have been lost at my gym. I have also seen many other people using their iPods with aftermarket headphones.
Trash-talk the new Shuffle all you want without even having used it
I own an 80GB iPod classic and absolutely love it. I previously owned a Gen. 1 Shuffle, and currently own a Gen. 2 Shuffle. I also own numerous pairs of headphones, both stock and aftermarket. I am more than entitled to give harsh criticism to a product that appears to have an obviously poor design from my perspective. I have plenty of past experience with Apple's MP3 players to give an educated review sans ownership.
[Edit: And, if it turns out there is a way to use the new Shuffle without special headphones or a silly dongle, I will gladly buy one.]
...but I bet it works like a charm for those who could use an music player like that.
Your post also suggests you don't own the new Shuffle. Using your own logic, I find it hard to take your assumption/recommendation seriously. "You cannot give us an opinion about a product that you don't even own."
But yes, I concede that the new Shuffle works "like a charm" for people who use the Shuffle only with the stock headphones, who do not lose the stock headphones, and who have the cord always within easy reach.
It's foolish to get angry and use such strong words about a product you don't own just because it doesn't have the features you want.
At the risk of sounding hypocritical
, it's foolish for you to lecture somebody on an online forum. My opinion of the new Shuffle, while harsh, did not resemble a heated and (a sorta somewhat) personal attack. I am afraid I cannot say the same about your response.