I purchased my first Zune back in 2006, have been a Zune Pass subscriber since 2008, and upgraded to a custom Zune HD in 2009. I was always a big fan of the Zune because I understood the value in the Zune Pass and thought the audio quality was better than the iPod. Thus, it is a bit sad to hear that the Zune brand is ending as Microsoft transitions to Xbox Music with the Xbox brand being the single brand for multimedia content.
In my opinion, the Zune was a fantastic device and platform, but no one ever really knew much about it and it was not aggressively marketed by Microsoft. I understand the transition to the Xbox brand since that is very popular and should help bring in even more customers. I understand that Xbox Music will appear on the Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 in the near future. The Zune Pass has changed as Microsoft did away with the free song option, although I am still grandfathered into the old plan and continue to build up my song collection 10 songs a month.
My Zune HD still performs well and I use it for working out and enjoying fantastic audio. It is small and extremely well built and I intend to use it until it dies. My iPods all seemed to die just after the one year warranty ended, but my Zune HD has now been going for about three years and still looks brand new.