I think a lot of people were surprised with Apple's "reinvention " of the nano last September.
Some said that it's hard to use 'cause you have to look at the controls when controlling it. I thought the new nano was a failure too, but a few weeks ago my friend got the iPod to use along with his iPhone 3GS. Well, he told me he loved it, it was so easy and simple to use! Well, I actually tried it out in Yamada Electronics(sort of like Best Buys in Japan) when it first came out, and I guess it was pretty nice. But, it doesn't support such basic things like video playback, so I decided not to buy it, even though I wanted a new iPod at that time, and so that's how I got to buy an iPod touch.
Anyway, I've sidetracked enough, Apple submitted this patent which they might use to release a new software for the new nano soon that includes gestures that you can do without looking at the screen.
Tap once to pause, twice to go next, three times to go back, tap once then hold to fast forward, and twice then hold to rewind.
But hey, can't you do this stuff already with the earphone with mic? I think they should just pack those with the nano.