First, I want to thank you for a very comprehensive review. I should have trusted it more before spending all my money.
I wanted to go cheap for recording at first and looked at some mp3 players. The Sandisk had a good condenser mic, but it was really underpowered and everyone sounded like they were talking through a blanket.
I looked for an mp3 player on the market that had a "line in" to attach a mic and improve the audio quality. I chose the Creative Zen V Plus, and I discovered the installed voice mic was only good in a very quiet room, and as more distracting noise occured the player just boosted the mic until everythig was a crackling mess.
The ultra-mini mic jack required some creative adapters only to discover you could only record with a self powered mic. The line in was really designed for plugining into the phone jack of your computer or CD player to "rip" music and audio.
It was really disappointing because the Creative Zen has dedicated voice recording buttons and is sold as a voice recorder.
After driving around rural PA for a Radio Shack or Best Buy that had the DS-2 or the DS-40, I really started to think I should just pay for a Zoom H4. So off to Amazon, and in a few short days I expected the H4 at the house.
Poor shipping forced me to look for an Olympus again. I found the DS-2, and like you said, it was fantastic for interviews and reporting. It works great with lots of different mics and the stereo mics installed are really great sound.
In short, I am creating great audio work with it, and it is good enough for broadcast almost all of the time.
The Zoom H4 showed up and that was truly impressive, but I can't imagine for voice work how it is worth almost three times the money. The H4 is for music recording level sensitivity.
Anyway, I read your review and ignored it as "neat" but not helpful. How wrong I was. The DS-2 was the perfect tool for ambient and voice recordings.