I'd generally argue that the reason you have troubles with the iPod is because you've learned to think like an engineer... ie, unlearning how to think like an uninformed user in the process. You're not exactly their target audience (nor am I).
Out of pure curiosity, which iPod style is this referring to? Scrollable-wheel, click-wheel, touch, shuffle? I personally find the click-wheel versions to be a bit annoying because they don't register scrolling accurately enough.
My response was that reaching out and touching something that you're interested in is about as intuitive as you can get. Even my kitten 'understands' that if she wants to interact with the sun falling from the sky in Plants vs. Zombies, she just paws at it. She does have a tendency to attack randomly and plant things everywhere, but she's got the basic idea.
A lot of other tech-minded people, however, seem intent on trying to shoehorn the touch interface into their concept of a WIMP UI, then complain when it doesn't work. One coworker, on the day the iPad was announced, even exclaimed 'But it doesn't even have a stylus!', to which seven other people in the department replied 'Good'.