Are you ripping these CD’s to .mp3 or .wma format?
If you are ripping in .wma format, the default WMP setting may still be on that applies ‘Copy Protection’ (DRM encryption). That could be why they won’t play on the device. Or it could be that you are using WMA Lossless, a format that is not supported (won’t play) on the device.
Try ripping one or two of the problem tracks as .mp3 to your computer. Delete the same tracks from your player, so there won’t be 2 copies on it to confuse matters any worse. Now instead of ‘syncing’ them to your player via WMP, just drag & drop them from your computer (in Windows Explorer or My Computer) to your player’s MUSIC folder. You can do it in MTP mode on your player, but I prefer MSC. It’s cleaner, easier, and less complicated (for both you & the computer). The mode can be switched in SETTINGS > SYSTEM SETTINGS > USB MODE. I’d advise against using the Auto-Defect setting at all.
Do they play now?
It’s also possible incorrect or corrupted ID3 tag info could be causing the problem(s).
And btw, this statement:
[Several people told me that they thought that they had rushed it to market w/o resolving some known kinks, or that the new Fuzes were crap]
is just not true and those who are perpetrating it don’t know the facts and are just as they describe the Fuze . . .full of it.