Pros: Cheap in Price, High in Quality! Great Design!
Cons: U3 Technology
I figured 8GB would be more than enough storage for what I needed it for - boring file storage... So that being said, I went to Best-Buy and made my decision to buy a flash drive based on the shallowest attributes available: Price and Style.
You can pick up one of these for $30 (with shipping) at Amazon - I got mine for $50 (I got jipped!) at the beginning of the year. For what I was looking for (a lot of storage space), these were the cheapest ones available, and they also looked good.
When I was in school, I used to carry a memory stick on my keys (very useful, very dorky). One of the problems that I used to have is that a lot of memory sticks have the key ring on the cap, so your data isn't actually connected to your key chain. Well worry no more! With the SanDisk Cruzer, that's no longer an issue - the keyring is directly on the flash drive (in fact, they've eliminated the cap entirely!). Speaking of the lack of cap, the other great style feature is the retractable USB connector. When you need to use the flash drive, you just slide the USB connector out using the slide on top (it slides very easily - but locks so the top doesn't come out - just you have to push down a little bit to get it to go). When you're on the go, keep the USB connector retracted to avoid damage (much better then a cap - because if you lose the cap, then your USB connector is exposed).
Downside To Style?
The only downside that I can think of is that the top of the USB is never actually covered. So for example, when it is retracted, you can still see inside the USB top. This means that it can be open to dust and dirt and other junk that may be in your pocket. I have not had any issues with this, but I could see how it may cause an issue for someone.
One of the factors that you cannot measure when any flash drive is still in the plastic is how does it feel? Does it feel like a cheap piece of plastic that will fall apart? Am I going to be constantly worried that it's going to break? I can answer both of these questions with a resounding no. The 8GB SanDisk Cruzer is plastic, but it does not feel like cheap plastic. Overall, it feels very solid.
So while it may feel solid, the question of durability should be your next question (of the things that you cannot measure when it is still in the packaging). I have found that the SanDisk Cruzer is very durable - it is currently connected to my car keys (still dorky... I know...), and I have not had any trouble with it breaking or not working. I also always have my house keys in the same pocket, and I have not noticed any scratching, and the moving parts (so the sliding top in and out) still work perfectly.
U3 technology is something that is included on the SanDisk Cruzer, and it includes preloaded programs that do not install onto your computer, but rather run straight from it. You do not have to interact with the programs at all if you do not want, or if you want to navigate the flash drive normally through your usual My Computer way, you can. My problem with U3 is that I feel like it slowed the performance down, and while I did enjoy a few rounds of sudoku before removing it, in the end I wound up getting rid of it (you can remove U3 by formatting the drive). Overall great idea, but it slows it down too much to make it worth it.
Overall I am very happy with my 8GB SanDisk Cruzer. It has held up very well, and performed great once I got rid of U3. It's incredibly durable, and, unless I lose my keys, the design has prevents easy loss!