Alright, update #2...Finally got the Sandisk website to upload the Sansa Update Utility, installed the firmware update, the userguide, etc etc. I also started going deeper into the sub-menus of the settings screen, and have since disabled some features that I won't be using, and changed the main menu to have the option to rotate through the inputs in either direction, so now it doesn't have to be swiped from one end to the other like it came originally. I also removed a lot of the pre-installed media, moved all of the music I've copied onto it into just the music folder, without any sub-folders for genre or artist, and changed the background to just be a photo of my choosing...all of which have sped up the machine's overall performance. After letting the machine do a couple of refreshes, it's sped up even more. The only thing I can't figure out, is how to lock the faceplate touchpad with the power button (which I read was supposed to happen with the firmware update).
The more I learn how to use this thing, the easier and faster it's getting to navigate. I think a lot of folks that test-ran these units at stores, didn't really give themselves enough time to learn how to use them, and got quickly frustrated. Yes, this unit is a LOT more complicated to use than older Sandisk products, but I think that that's because there are just so many options for everything, that it's overwhelming at first.
I'll do another update soon if I find other ways to make the unit run well, and to report on battery life, and overall performance of the unit. Oh yeah, before I forget, I also connected it to the aux input of one of my stereo's, as well as my Harman Kardon Champange 2.1 computer speaker kit, and this Fuze+ sounds fantastic on either, especially using the custom EQ option. This thing also seems to have a higher output volume than that of my former Fuze...wonder if it's higher output voltage from the headphone jack, or just a newer, more efficient amp or pre-amp.