More stark analysis from Paul Thurrott.
FWIW one of my kids bought a Zune and has been very pleased with it.
In the months leading up to the Zune's release, Microsoft handled its PR as if it were a badly-made movie. Rather than seed the technical press with pre-release Zune units, Microsoft's PR company decided to provide Zunes only to music bloggers and four mainstream news agencies in advance of its release. Others wishing to review the Zune didn't receive Zune devices until the day before its public release, making effective reviews virtually impossible. Since that time, Microsoft hasn't received a positive review yet: Everyone who's gotten their hands on one of these devices has declared it an abject failure, including, not coincidentally, yours truly: My review is now available on the SuperSite for Windows. It ain't pretty.
Source: Consumers Uninterested in Zune