I can’t remember exactly when, but at some stage in the not too distant future, iTunes/iPod Podcast handling got a whole lot better. It used to be that if you started to listen to a Podcast, it was marked as “Not New”, and was no longer synced to the iPod. This is no longer true - it now syncs all Podcasts that have a play count of 0. It kinda caught me a bit by surprise, when I came across some Podcasts I was sure I’d listened to, and when I played them, I only got the last few seconds. I must have started a new track playing before the end.
If you have a 4G (Clickwheel) iPod, and you use it, don’t install iPod Software 3.1.1. This version of the firmware causes the iPod to crash sometimes, even often, when going to sleep or waking up. You then need to do a force-reset (hold MENU & SELECT for 6-10 secs) in order to cause it to spin up, losing your place in a bookmarkable file, and possibly play counts for other tracks. I downgraded (using the Restore feature from iPod Updater 2005-09-23.app), and haven’t had a single crash since.