There's also the "no one was ever fired for buying IBM" attitude (or in this case, "no one's ever had trouble with an iPod") . Whatever the truth is, people percieve the iPod as established and reliable, and it will take quite a bit of work to overcome that. Heck, my church just bought one for the worship team so we can hear the songs we're playing quickly rather than shuffeling CD's around (I could have saved them the trouble actually, since I have our entire library on my Empeg, but I digress). If the Karma had been out I'd have made the suggestion, but I seriously doubt they'd have listened to me.
It's not all about research either. Even those who get all the facts they can are taking something of a gamble by going with a more feature rich device over something that's been out there for ages. Of course, we know that the Karma is another version of something that has been out there for ages ("ages" in tech terms), has been stable, and basically any geeks dream. But those facts probably won't come up even with a good bit of research for someone outside this community. Still, it's happened before that the mighty have fallen . . .
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.