I finally picked up a field recorder: the Zoom H2.
* extremely aggressive automatic gain control on “voice mode”
* 24/96 recording
* incredibly light but not chintzy
* features like automatic gain control work even when it’s in USB mic mode – ideal for skype etc.
* UI is a bit fiddley, but not horrific
* Showed up as a USB audio device fine the first time, then not again. Probably means I need to reboot.
Overall… I’d rather have bought it at American than european prices, and it’s a good enough device to open up a good deal of new ground. Good kit.