Most CD players in the $50-$100 range are pretty similar. It's only on the extreme low and high-ends of the price spectrum that you start to see real differences--except with this player.
Recommend this product?
I first read about the Sony "G-Protection" thinking it was just another gimmicky way to sell so-called "anti-shock". But once I read that it was based on new technology I decided to give it a shot...and I'm glad I did.
As a jogger I've tried lots of different types of music playing devices. Minidisc is OK but still skips a lot, cassette is, well, horrible sounding (and sometimes the tapes sound strange when you're running--like their pitch slightly flexes with your stride) and "anti-shock" CD players are usually anything but.
But rather than going on and on about this player (which was only $79...there are many other models that aren't nearly as good as this for a good $30 more) I will stress these two points:
1) I have logged perhaps 60+ miles with this player. It has skipped literally less than 10 times and this is when the batteries are low and/or when the CD is in terrible shape (most people forget these two factors).
2) This player has all the standard features you'd want (the models above it even have an optical output) and it's designed rather well. In fact I've dropped it at least twice (hard enough to leave dents) and it is still going strong.
Perhaps not really needed for the non-active person, but a MUST HAVE for the runners out there.
PS: Mp3 players are probably the way things will go before long, but I give them a good 2-4 years before they are affordable enough to rival the "unlimited" capacity of other types of media.