I always found using third-party software for iPods introduced more problems than it was worth. The only reason I ended up with an iPod is because of how well iTunes and the iPod worked with podcasts. I tried the other alternatives right from day one of podcasting and the iTunes/iPod combo was the best. Since then I drank the Cool-Aid and run nothing but Apple computer, simply because they work and do everything I want. Sure there is room for improvement, but there is no real good alternative.
I do hope in time the iPad is developed more as a stand-alone device that has podcast management capabilities. I'm sure this will transfer over to the touch and iPhones. I would assume Apple is working on this type of functionality but must please the media industry. Even though bugs pop up into their software I do believe Apple tries to hold back cutting edge technology till it is ready for primetime.
64GB iPad 3, 32GB iPhone 4, 1G 16GB touch, 4G & 6G Silver 16GB nano, 5G 60GB iPod, 1G AppleTV, 2G ATV, 2.5GHz 17" MacBook Pro