Sansa Clip+ sells for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Worthwhile altenatives with physical buttons?

According to this previous discussion SanDisk had to alter the Clip+ because the company making the chip (the brains) of the players discontinued them. Fair enough. But this still doesn’t answer the question why SanDish had to change the good, sturdy physical buttons to something inferior. @Tapeworm?

The less than stellar reviews of the Jam and the Sport aren’t convincing. I sense there is a gap in the market here. SanDisk doesn’t want to fill it? Maybe someone else should.