Short battery life is to be expected, because this unit, uses very high quality op amps and circuitry which draw a lot of current, and the amplification is top notch. Perhaps a better long term solution is to purchase a second user replaceable battery and change it on the fly.
As far as the restriction on 32 GB SD cards, the option is to buy as many cards as you you want. I know it costs a lot of money, but if you want 320 GB of music, buy 10 cards. They are small enough to carry around. No other unit offers this much storage, not even the 160GB iPod.
I know that all of my fixes revolve around adding more money to the final price tag, but, if you want the best, then money is only a second consideration.
This unit is the best sounding unit that I have ever heard, with no exceptions, and if you are the sort of person who wants the best, as we all know, then money is not a deciding factor.
If 2 or 300 dollars is what's stopping you from buying this unit, then this unit is not the right application for you. This is "high end" audio.
Head-Direct has come up with a solution that is second to none, and that comes with (as usual) a price tag. If you were going to buy a Conrad Johnson, or Mark Levinson, then you need to be willing to shell out 10K for a pre-amp alone.
Just to put things in perspective, Fang has built a unit that will change musical component history as we know it, but that will always come with a price, If you are looking for a mediocre player that has a small price tag, then you are in the wrong market segment, get a Sansa Clip.
I'm truly not trying to be a condescending prick here. This unit is the best unit that money can buy, and like a pair of Kimber cables, if you want the best, then the daily Starbucks will have to take a back seat.
People will pay $400 for a pair of Oakleys of $6K for a Milgauss, and it's all not really relative in the high end world.
This player kicks butt, and a $grand is not asking a lot for the best sounding portable player on the market.
A year from now, the money that you spend on this, will all be forgotten, but the tunes in your ears, will not!
The joy that this unit has offered me, in one short week, makes a week of family vacation in Ocean City, pale in comparison.
You have to make a decision here. Do you want the best sound that money can buy, in a portable unit, with an endless possibility of future upgrades? If so, it is a no-brainer. If you are looking for mediocre sound with lots of bells and whistles, get an iPod touch. If you are looking for the greatest sound possible (isn't that why we are here in the first place?), then save your pennies and purchase a HiFiMAN. You won't be sorry.
Make sure to have some take lot's of pictures of the big fat smile on your face.
P.S.- So far, I have not had any issues with quality control. This player has worked flawlessly from the get-go.