With the iPod I am doing the following:
Learning a new language - through downloading mp3 files in a foreign language and the text translations over the web.
I have built in foreign language phrase support(iLingo)
Calendar events, notes
My music: saving money by buying songs 99 cents at a time instead of whole CD's
Backing up my home directory - or at least the important parts with the firewire hard drive features.
The iPod is an incredibly intuitive functional device which enhances my tech life on many fronts. I don't see it as marketing issues at all. The device is simply the best one in the category of usefulness vs. awkwawrd devices that can get in the way of the experience.
You should really try one before you mark it all off to marketing