Or, rather, *had*.
I decided to say 'fuckit' to the remaining two months of warranty time and went ahead and voided it.. I now have a purdy "hunter green" coloured iPod. complete with a same-colour touch-wheel and "cobalt blue" buttons. :) initial testing (the paint isn't 100% dry yet, so I touched lightly for fear of smearing it) shows every button works exactly as it should. nice and responsive, and now truly personalized. I'm going to add some more decoration to it in other colours in the comming weeks, probably using stencils I cut out or somesuch, but this proves it doesn't hurt to take the paintbrush to your pod.
I'm thinking a clear spraypaint over the face should help keep the paint on. It took about 4 or 5 coats before I got a nice even colouration -- that iPod plastic doesn't take paint easilly!
on the battery front, I'm happy to report that mine still gets roughly more than 6 hours of playtime.. What with all the hardcore use I've put it through and charge cycles it's had I had hoped to get it replaced under warranty. :)
Time to start pricing the 60GB drives toshiba makes that they are using in the new photoPods and look to replacing my current 40 with one -- I can certainly use it as this poor thing is stuffed to it's gills with music. I'm not even using it as a data backup anymore because there simply isn't room.