Don't know if anyone has followed this "saga" or cares at all, but my RMA was just approved for an even exchange. I was dreading it having heard some bad things about the Sandisk customer service center but my experience has only taken 2 days and has been pleasant and efficient. So respect to them for that.
Ironically the Rockbox crew has done some super development in the last week that make my Fuze+ nearly perfect, so I don't really feel like I need the old reliable Fuze anymore. But what's fair is fair.