I don't find anything wrong with my E series Sonys. I drop music into them, they play reliably, done deal. As far as firmware updates I much prefer the Sony philosophy to sandisk.
If you get it right the first time you don't need to issue continuous updates. There may not be any added bells and whistles but what you have when you walk out the store works reliably and you know just what to expect. To my way of thinking that's better than waiting for some vaporware update to fix a bug that shouldn't exist in the first place.