Poor iPod

Since moving to NYC, I’ve resumed using my first-generation iPod on an extremely regular basis. A year of working at home means that you don’t really need your music to be portable, and so my iPod use was limited to trips out of state. Moving to NYC means an hour of iPod for each leg of the commute, and use in the office for a bit of ambient sound.
Yesterday, however, things started going wrong. The iPod would lock up mid-song when connected to my work machine. I’d have to unplug and reboot the iPod, and desperately force quit and restart things on the computer to avoid a complete reboot. This happens about three times in two hours. This worried me.
When I got home, trying to copy a 2 meg file off the iPod resulted in having to wait so long to get the copy dialog to even show, I began to worry. I did a full wipe-and-restore-to-factory-new with the newest version of the software. I ran DiskWarrior on it, which crashed halfway through the process. This made me really concerned. After throwing everything I could at it, the thing still took eight seconds to transfer one song from my hard drive to my iPod.
I decided today would be a good chance to head down to the Apple Store in Soho. (Side note: I discovered that one of the subway lines at my station runs almost directly to the store. I’ve come to the conclusion our subway goes everywhere we could possibly want.) I waited in line for the genius bar until I had one of the geniuses come over, listen to my problem, and agree that the hard drive was probably dying.
I asked how much repairs would be.
He said $250.
After I stopped laughing internally, I shrugged my shoulders – given how anal I am about my iTunes library, I really wanted a new one anyhow. The on-the-fly ratings and playlists, the new Music Quiz game, the more distinct controls, the smaller size – it’s worth at the very least another $50, assuming I don’t go hog wild and aim for a 40 gig.
So yeah, just wanted to share my plight.
UPDATE: Peter mentioned that he had the same problem with doing transfers in Firewire Disk Mode between two Macs until he unplugged his iSight. Unplugged the iSight, and blammo, it worked. How strange, since I’ve had the iSight plugged in at the same time for months…