I bought an MP3 player/digital recorder/FM tuner this semester myself. I love it so far.
I got a 256MB Yepp YP-55 (made by Samsung) from Best Buy. I got some extras with it, namely the 2-year replacement plan (since I KNOW I'll break it sometime during school!) and an FM modulator... with all costs (the player, the service plan, the modulator, taxes) it's been $270.
The recording quality has been very good with it. Since I got the FM modulator, I can listen to lectures in my car through my FM radio. Originally I was planning to burn lectures to CD to listen to, but now I don't have to bother with that extra step and don't end up with a bunch of lecture CDs cluttering the car.
It's also great using it as an MP3 player-- I use it for my evening workouts, so it's helping doubly with my studies; lecture review and stress-relief.