No, it’s just a casualty in the battle of new products. The v2 devices with their AustriaMicrosystems processor handle many tasks readily, especially integration of the µSDHC card for audio and video.
Development of the PortalPlayer equipped v1 devices effectively halted when the v2 platform debuted successfully. V2 owners were surprised by a rather short development cycle, when the new Fuze debuted in turn, replete with a firmware that solved the remaining glitches of the e200v2. But, sadly, the e200 never got that last hurrah for firmware.
The Fuze platform was used for the v2 devices, making them what I like to think of as the “stealth Fuze”.
Because of various constraints with the v1 platform, and marketing / production issues, no doubt, the v1 never received µSDHC support in original equipment form. As seen by using Rockbox, µSDHC capability was indeed possible, but not implemented. This is a conundrum in itself, as SanDisk could only have benefited by implementing it for the v1 series, as they’re the manufacturer of this media.
In retrospect, I remember the adage, “there comes a time in every project when it is necessary to shoot the engineers and start production.” The new generation of Sansas was in the pipeline, and engineering / development resources had to be pressed forward on the new machines.
For the v1, and the µSD expansion slot, MSC mode wins as “the Mode of Sansa Champions.” No matter which mode is used to transfer media to your Sansa, everything will be indexed by the Sansa and available; it’s from the PC side of the equation that it’s confusing, as files transferred in open mode are not available while in the alternate mode.