Reset, gone into diagnostic mode to poke around there. No luck.
Since it didn't boot, I couldn't get into disk mode, nor could I get it to connect to my computer (via USB - Firewire's still dead)
Skipped into diagnostic mode again, and chose USB disk. Ok, now it boots.
Backed up iPod data, then reformatted the iPod with hopes that once doing so, the iPod updater software would recognize it. No such luck - now my iPod boots into a folder + exclamation mark icon. Yay -.-;;
Tried using PC software to reinstall the iPod system software - The iPod is only recognized when it's in Diagnostic/USB Disk mode. iPod software reinstalled successfully. But doesn't seem to have any effect other than making an empty MSDOS partition on my iPod.
Trying to restore the previously backed up iPod data onto my iPod, still via Diagnostic/USB Disk mode. Disk Utility keeps giving me errors, like "An error (16) occurred while copying. (Resource busy)".
I'm looking at three choices now:
1. Get a broken 3rd Gen iPod off eBay for $30-$50 and use parts from there to swap motherboards so I can use firewire and maybe get it to work again. And maybe even upgrade my iPod's hard drive...
2. Buy a cheap flash mp3 player and wait for the next generation iPod to appear. Those iPod (ex-Photo) are nice - $369.00 for 60 GB with color... still don't like the click wheel though.
3. Screw Apple. And go with something else. Like an iRiver, which I hear is good... although that's only from one person. And they're just as, if not more, expensive for less disk space.
There's always the fourth option:
Find a third party iPod repair company