Thank you for putting what I am feeling into words, I just couldn't describe it the way you do. That's one big, huge, giant problem in this sector unfortunately.
As for the comparison against X3, that device has its roots from 2-3 years ago even James said the build quality is not top notch due to old story of the player. If we want comparison, newly designed and produced X5 would be fair against any AK product.
I like what iRiver is trying to do, but they are also not playing fair if you ask me, and probably pretty much every user of their daps thinks they are well built, designed, filled with features but overpriced.