So...about that karmic payback.
After a couple days of dethaw, an intense charging and a lot of prayer, my iPod is now able to turn on and play songs. The screen is beyond fubared, so I can't tell what's playing or how much charge I have...but it plays!
So...the verdict is that I will be getting a new iPod, and will keep this one for working out and toting places that I might need some tunes but might otherwise hesitate to bring my "good" iPod. Now...what to get??
I'm thinking I'm going to go for the 2nd generation, 8GB version of the Nano. I'm used to the 1st gen and I'm not sure if I want to go for the new 3d gen, because I'd have to get a new holder and stuff...and that's just too damn much work.
Maybe next time around.