In my experience iTunes isn't really necessary to manage the iPhone any more. At the beginning it was needed to set up a new phone but now all that is done in the setup process on the phone itself.
If you just want to use another player for your music why not just install one of the many iTunes replacements and just ignore the installed iTunes? I doubt the few MB of space or bandwidth to update every few months are a big enough hassle to warrant such an endeavour especially if you have to re-engineer it every time there's a major version update.
Me, too. Got my CFW loaded up on my PSP-1000...it's lovely wide screen, really nice Sony-quality controls, great battery life (with homebrew...) and superb homebrew and emulation support, it's not a wonder
a) I still use it for GBA/Sega Genesis emulation nearly every day but
b) I've never used a single UMD with the device and
c) I don't know anyone who has.
Kinda like the Dreamcast, which was also amazing but had even the most inexperienced users rushing to Wal-Mart to grab a stack of blank CD's to make their very own Kazaa-downloaded copy of 'Seaman.'
If Sony had actually pandered to the homebrew scene (yeah, I know that sounds like a joke, but I'm saying 'if'...) they could have opened up something like the App store even earlier on, where the barrier of entry for indie developers is existent but small.
I'd be interested to actually look up some numbers, but I imagine software sales for the PSP, especially the early generation, must have been fairly abysmal.
A really nice setup for that is: bitlbee (for xmpp) and use znc to connect to that and your IRC networks. Now you just need a mobile IRC client that supports push notifications and ZNC (in my case that's Palaver).