If you’re one of the types who loves the Zune’s hardware (great screen, simple controls, and that WiFi) but bemoan the software or interface (or both), then you might want to take a look at the forthcoming Zune install of Rockbox.
For those not in the know, Rockbox is an opensource firmware replacement project designed to allow you to customize your audio playback hardware (like the Zune, or iPod) to your liking, everything from interface to features. The idea is that you can brew your own Rockbox, and then run it on the hardware of your choice, giving the power and control over the user experience to you.
Though it’s not ready yet, developers are working on a Zune port of Rockbox (on volunteered time, nonetheless), which isn’t much different than the Toshiba Gigabeat port they’d already started work on. This means that sometime in the future, we should see a workable version for download. But before you go and get excited, it’s worth noting that if you run Rockbox on your Zune, you’ll probably not only loose compatibility with the Zune Marketplace, but will most likely void your warranty, as well. It’s not yet for the unexperienced or faint of heart, but it is something to consider.