On the go.

When I am commuting or traveling I've got to have music. Preferring analog, in the past I've used personal walkman type devices. Seven years ago I purchased a top on the line AM/FM cassette made by AIWA. It had a damn good tuner and equally good tape playback. I knew I could travel anywhere and have my music and great sound as well.
These days the makers of portable devices couldn’t care less about cassette or fm tuners or quality sound. I know IPOD has a strong presence but I have not gone the MP3 route yet. If I have to I will, kicking and screaming. Is it good fidelity?
What are some quality devices that produce great sound for travel and convenience? Do I have to give up cassette? I do use a very expensive sony CD player but is there something better? Is this an important issue for anyone else? Thank you for any comments.
That's the beauty of the iPod..you don't have to store anything as an mp3 file. I have over 25 hours of tunes on mine and all are stored as Apple lossless files. They are compressed but lossless. If you want you can store AIFF or WAV files (both uncompressed), these will be larger files and the battery will wear drive down faster because the hard drive must be spun many more times, but it sounds as good as a cd (which is of course a AIFF file anyway.
Is MP3 good fidelity? As compared to what? If you compare it to a carefully engineered vinyl or master tape, the answer is no, there is no comparison whatsoever.

But if you rip a CD to high bit rate MP3 file and compare the two, I would say at 256kbs they are very close, at 320kbs they are virtually indistinguishable. Some people listened to some downloaded MP3 at 96kbs or 128kbs and concluded that all MP3 sounded bad. It is simply not true.
I rip CD's to my i-pod uncompressed using AIFF and it sounds amazingly good. I play the i-pod through my car stereo using the headphone out, plugging it into an input on the car system and it also sounds great. My i-pod is like having about 150 CD's in the palm of my hand. Far more than any CD changer. The i-pod is the way to make high quality music extremely portable. If you rip them at 320 kbs, you can fit around 450 CD's on a 40 Gig i-pod. It's your call whether you want 150 CD's at CD quality or 450 CD's with some slight sonic compromise. I go for 150 uncompressed. I rotate music in and out for variety.