I don't bother with Apple either. The first few gens of ipod had notoriously shitty sound quality. The ipod my friend had which was significantly more expensive sounded awful compared to a shitty off-brand mp3/cd player I got for $20, playing the same exact files through the same setup. I've been told the sound has improved since then, but it still isn't anywhere near the best thing out there.
What do you normally use to listen to digital stuff?