As I understand what microsansa posted above, currently the issue is the trade-off with the battery. I don’t see it as a “budget product” issue at present (unless that includes actually having someone do the work)–I’m taking SanDisk’s public statement as to the budget issue being that to keep the price down originally, certain engineering decisions were made (as to a part, perhaps?).
As I’m understanding it, there seems to be a real concern from SanDisk that the battery toll of a pitch fix, even if minimal, would be less desireable than keeping matters where they are. As I understood earlier postings, there could be a 3% battery hit–about 1/2 an hour off the battery. That would bring the publicized 15 hour life (presumably a marketing point?) down to 14-1/2 hours (less a marketing point?). Personally, I don’t see that as a big a deal for greater integrity, but SanDisk apparently feels otherwise (and that the majority of consumers would see it as otherwise).
(Just a thought, but note that the manufacturer’s estimated battery life for the Clip and Clip+ is the same, even though the Clip+ doesn’t have the Clip’s light effects bling. Seemingly, then, that bling was dropped, at least in part, to provide the power for certain of the Clip+'s enhancements, such as the microSD slot, the increased display scroll speed, and the improved pitch factor, but still leaving the battery at 15 hours of life, which SanDisk perhaps sees as important not to drop, for marketing and consumer “requirement” reasons?)