I'm not sure how it works on a PC, but on a Mac you would not expect obvious feedback that your iPod is connected except in iTunes, UNTIL you set your iPod up as an external drive (which option is available within iTunes). And you'd not get any sort of "drive connected" logo on the iPod itself: just a "Do not disconnect" message.
I know from your past posts that you were contemplating an alternative to iTunes for management...did you start with iTunes?
I can't believe I've had so many iPods. Is there something wrong with me?
iPod 2G, iPod 4G, iPod 5G, iPhone, iPhone 3G