This thread on iLounge is blowing up. Apparently, a lot of people are reporting that their 5G (and some 4G) iPods are killing their earphones (usually the right one). It seems that the buds just start to crackle and then just die altogether.
This worries me because I just bought a 5G iPod [video] yesterday and use some fairly expensive in-ear headphones (Shure E3cs). Though most of the complaints have been limited to the Apple-supplied buds (*puke*), there are scattered reports of third-party headphones dying as well, including some high-end models.
Despite this issue, I'll likely take my chances because I've never experienced anything like this and the 5G model is my fifth iPod. Though, to be fair, I never owned a 4G model (2G, mini, shuffle, nano, and 5G) and so I might be in for a rude awakening, the sentiment to be returned to Apple in spades if that turns out to be the case.