On the card, there are counterfeits around that tell your computer they have lots of space but actually don’t. So if you really go bottom-feeding at places like eBay, you might get junk.
Buy.com and woot.com are pretty iffy too for other products, so personally I would not trust their cards.
However, a card from Amazon.com or newegg.com (good cheap electronics) should have some kind of guarantee and the seller has a reputation to protect, so you can shop by price as long as you avoid obvious sleazeballs.
You might as well get Sandisk; they make their own memory instead of buying it wholesale, like Kingston.
Now on ripping, sit back. First,192 kbps is very good although not fanatical sound quality. You could bump it up to 256 and then probably only your dog would hear the difference. 320 is probably overkill, especially since you’re using this as a little portable device, not feeding your $5000 speakers.
I assume these would just be portable copies of the CDs, not your only copy of the music. If you are archiving music onto a hard drive and planning to discard originals, then you should use a lossless format (.flac, Free Lossless Audio Codec).
And WMP will be fine if you want to keep using it. It makes the ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1 tags that Sansas prefer. (Different rippers default to different versions of tags.) But it’s one step short of ideal.
In fact, ripping is a Hobson’s choice: You can get better sound quality, but it comes with worse tags.
The annoyance is that WMP has its own mp3 encoder that is inferior to the best mp3 encoder, LAME. (A corporate paranoid might think that WMP wants you to believe its own .wma sounds better than mp3…but anyway…)
Sound quality sticklers prefer LAME rippers such as Media Monkey. You can get the free version at mediamonkey.com and then replace MM’s file lame_enc.dll, which is only a trial version, with the permanent one from LAME.
You need to unzip the LAME download, get lame_enc.dll out of the folder, and copy it into the Program Files/Media Monkey folder to replace MM’s lame_enc.dll.
You also need to go into Media Monkey’s settings and make sure its default is ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1. Sansas don’t really love ID3v2.4 tags yet, and anything under ID3v2.1 is usually ignored.
OK, that gives you improved sound quality and Media Monkey’s nice music library interface. But…when you rip albums you are also getting Artist, Album, Song Title information online. WMP gets its tags from the big corporate official CDDB database that they have to pay for. MMonkey has the user-generated Freedb, which is generally good but not always current–a new release won’t have tags yet–and not always exactly correct.
So for convenience, you’ll probaby want to just stay with WMP. If sound quality matters greatly to you, you might want to check out LAME and do some tweakage.