Everyone is a twitter about the Evergreen DN-2000, which brings the no-frills mp3 playback possibilities down to a rock bottom JPY999 price. Frankly, USD 8.50 is pretty cheap for an mp3 player, however the catch is that you supply your own storage in the form of an SD card. Even at USD50-100/GB, that's far from a strictly el-cheapo mp3 player.
What I do like about this sort of design is that the storage should be separate from the player. I still come across my old mp3 player from the turn of the century and lament its paltry 32MB of storage despite having a pleasing industrial design. One can only hope that this is indicative of things to come in the mobile device industry--standardized, removeable storage media. Of course, the iPod shuffle has things a little backwards but it is a step in the right direction.