I’ve always scoffed at Apple’s assertions that iPods are reliable, since they’re not. Anyway, I killed another one today. How? I was sitting in my office chair, listening to it. No drop, no trauma, just sad ipod icon. And what with being unemployed… yup.
So, to sum up:
Apple’s claimed iPod failure rate: 0%! Possibly less than zero.
Macintouch’s survey: ~14% (link)
My experience: 100% in a sample of four, not including a dead replacement iPod shipped to me.