Indeed, the Achilles’ Heel of the Sansa is that a corrupted file can really gum up the works during that initial database refresh, or playing a file with a mid-file corruption can lock up the player, making it play possum.
The customer assumes, since it will no longer respond, that the player is dead. in reality, most often, it’s just stuck. In these cases, the soft reset is your friend! Hold the switch up in the ON position, or with the Clip+, hold the ON button depressed, for 20 seconds to reset the device, release, then try again.
I am sure that many other brands of portable players can do the same thing, as a browse of their forums yields similar complaints.
Murphy’s Law applies well to electronics. Typically, if a device is going to fail, it will do so early in its service lifetime. If a device has been functioning for a while in the field, odds are that it will fare well.