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RE: portable hand field recorders

my bandmate works for a sports website, & his journalists needed a field
recorder better able to withstand their hamfistedness than the old sony
mz500 minidisc machines.
he tried the zoom & the m-audio before going for the edirol/roland job.
now he swears by it. the battery life is excellent, the built-in
microphones seem to be pretty good (no mechanical noise even when the
thing is resting in y'r lap) & the display is clear & stays illuminated
while the thing is on.

I know the zoom aswell, but I think the edirol would outlast it. if
you're going to a) need phantom power & b) carry the thing in a soft
case everywhere, then go for the zoom. otherwise, the edirol is better
by far than the m-audio. looks nicer, feels nicer... the zoom seemed a
bit plasticky to me, but then I started out using a uher 4200....