Ok...So I bought myself another Christmas gift this year. Completely work related though, I swear.
I purchased the Sony PCM-D50 and it just came in today. It's a sweet digital field recorder whose main strength, as posted by Brad Linder is that it actually has decent pre-amps for external mics.
I have a Zoom H2, which made for a great beginner recorder, but as with many things, I tend to learn fast and out grow things faster. The Zoom has great internal mics, but I found that I needed to use an external mic for interviews and that is where it failed. The mic pres on the Zoom are just too hissy. It sounds like someone is frying bacon whenever you're in a quiet room.
I haven't had a chance to test the Sony extensively, but I can already tell that I like it. It's got metal. That's a plus. The knob that controls the input levels and volume are...knobs. Not buttons that click click click. They're smooth and responsive (like the focus on my 70-200). It feels like a professional machine.
From the audio I've tested it 1) sounds awesome with the Rode NTG2 2) has enough oomph to power my EV635 (albeit with some strange low-level hum) 3) plays well with my giant squid lav.
More to come as I use it more.