No, it is not that bad. I have one, bought it a week ago to replace my old Sony NWZ-A816 which start to lose its battery life, and I compare those two. Saying that, I just bought to my girlfriend Sony NWZ-E463 player, she trust only Sony
After week of comparing my verdict is: Sony is better. Fuze+ is not bad at all. Sony has much simpler and more intuitive GUI, Fuze+ has more memory for less money and micro SD slot. I prefer Sony tactile (button) commands, but I got used to Fuze+ touch pad I have no problems with it. Sound quality is good with Fuze+, great with Sony, but that should not be reason for decision. After all, portable MP3 players are designed to be used outside with noisy surrounding and in that situation you can’t have full potential of any player, even if you use it with AKG K3003 headphones. Inside you will probably listen music on real HiFi equipment, not on PMP player.
Saying that sound is no reason for not to buy Fuze+. Sony come with option to chose music to search by browsing directories by default, with Fuze+ you must to upgrade firmware to newest version. If not, you have to search for song by tags, not by files.
I will happily use my Fuze+ for some time, but if Sandisk don’t change something with their PMP players (simpler and more intuitive GUI, music search by files as default, playlists which can contain songs from different directories, shortcut which let you to go to music options like equalizer by pressing one button while song is played, video options while video is played… and some other minor things) my next player will most likely be Sony again.
About Rockbox. I didn’t put Rockbox on my Fuze+ because Rockbox for it is not 100% compatibile (see on Rockbox web site what have to be done to be 100% compatibile). So I can’t help you about that.
Conclusion: Having in mind price, and if you are loyal Sansa user, I don’t see any reason not to buy Fuze+. Sony is better, but also more expensive (and do not forget, you will give more money for less GB) and don’t have micro SD slot.
I will not tell you to buy it or not, by I didn’t regret buying mine.