I just got an 8 GB Clip+ at Costco for ~$45. Mine goes quite loud with the OF (updated to latest version). The Clip+ even can drive my HD650's surprisingly well but I obviously have to turn it almost all the way up with those. But when using it with my Shure SE530's, I usually keep the vol turned up slightly less than half way (with EQ flat). (Also, Vol is set on high and region is North America.)
I think the SQ is quite good but the only other DAP I have used is an old Sansa E280 which I rockbboxed so it would take bigger SDHC cards.
So far, I'm quite pleased with the OF on the Clip+. It plays the formats I need, has replay gain, seems to provide almost gapless playback, allows me to delete songs from the player easily, takes up to 32 GB micro SDHC cards (I just got a Kingston 32 GB one from Ebay for $54 shipped), has an easy to use sleep function. Another thing is I love the way it merges the files that are on the SDHC card with the files on the internal memory so it all appears as one single big storage location when browsing through the music files via the player's UI (as opposed to browsing the files on the player internal memory and card separately with my computer).
So far I've seen no need to EQ it and thus see no need for the added complexity of the Rockbox UI, since the OF provides me with an easy UI that does everything I need, at least so far. Maybe I'll put Rockbox on it down the road but for now I'm quite happy with the latest version of the OF and very pleased with the Clip+, especially for the money. I've got an almost 40 GB tiny player for about $100 including the cost of the 32 GB micro SDHC card.
The only thing I'm really displeased about so far is that the battery is soldered in and can't easily be swapped out when traveling on long flights and needing extended play time. I haven't run the battery down yet, but have read that many are disappointed with the run time that the battery allows. I would satisfied if it really gave the 15 hours Sandisk claims, but many say it doesn't. I'm thinking of perhaps getting a second unit I could swap my 32 GB card into if the battery doesn't last long enough (although I suppose I could use my still working Rockboxed E280 for that purpose). But I'm very impressed with the tiny size and ultra light weight of the Clip+. Just wish the battery was easily replaceable like it is on the E280.
Edited by harpua - 12/8/10 at 4:24pm