I admit I don't have any "first-hand" opinion on the Cowon J3, since I haven't saved the money to buy one yet, so I base my opinions on reviews I have read here and there, they all agree it is a great piece of equipment, but there are some complains on navigation in the interface.
I really like the Itouch UI, but I don't like many other things on it that, in my mind, make it not worth the buy.
If you tell me that the J3 interface is very good (and with a capacitive touch screen, I am truly happy to know that), you only make my desire to buy it stronger. I'm not sure I should thank you for that, my wallet is already crying and bleeding, ehehe! :p
I have also read that the touchscreen is not as precise and smooth as the Itouch one (although described as very good), can you pleas confirm or deny this?
This J3 really made me fall in love when I first saw it, so I am trying to collect as many infos as possible!
The only iTouch I have experience with is the 1st-gen one and the touchscreen was indeed very good. However, much functionality was missing from the overall experience compared even to my aging fuze. I kept wanting to delete a file or check file format/bitrate only to remember that I'd need a PC and itunes to do that with the iTouch. The J3 may not have the best touchscreen but at least all of the functionality is there. Perhaps the J3's Capacitative touchscreen doesn't seem bad to me because it is a huge improvement over the S:Flo2 and even the D2+ I had a while ago (obviously haven't compared it directly to the iTouch since the J3 was years away from even being announced back then) but I really have no complaints at all about smoothness or precision. Plus there are hardware controls which I use much more often than the touchscreen - that's one thing Cowon gets right every time. I still think it's a bit overpriced at $300 for the 32gb for a player with no wifi and the battery life is not nearly as impressive as with my old D2+ but overall it's a solid device.
Also, I don't think a whole lot of people realize it (never seen it mentioned in a J3 review) but the main menu is fairly customizable. I don't use most of the J3's features on a regular basis so having the ability to move them all off the menu and replace them with a clock and calendar was a nice surprise.