Ohhh, I didn't know you have to have iTunes to put the music on an iPod... silly me. I don't pay for my music, I just want a player that will play the music I already have on my PC (drag & drop). But I may want a radio tuner on it also, not sure how well that works.
It's a common misconception that the only way to get music on an iPod is through iTunes. That hasn't been true, at least for the last 5 years.
There are plug-ins for Winamp, Windows Media Player, MusicMatch Jukebox, and even windows explorer extensions that let you drag and drop directly from there.
There is no Linux version of iTunes, yet getting music on an iPod is a piece of cake there too.
There's even non-iTunes options for OSX.
If you're really that hard up about not dragging & dropping from the iTunes interface, you can find plenty of alternative ways to drag & drop music to an iPod.
And iTunes handles MP3s just fine. I've bought a total of 1 song from iTunes, and I've got ~14,500 songs in my library. ~90% of them are CD rips, the rest consists of a couple free iTunes "song of the week", quite a few free Amazon MP3 deals, and the majority is stuff I've grabbed from friends.
but you have to use iTunes to convert each song to the format the iPod uses.
iPods play MP3s, and AACs. There's no converting involved, unless you're entire collection is in something like OGG, FLAC or WMA (and iTunes will offer to convert any unprotected WMAs you have as they're being imported). I don't think any player will play FLAC natively, so you'd have to convert them to MP3 or something similar for any player regardless, same with OGG.