My family bought me an ipod for my birthday this week. It was purchased a week ago. When I logged onto the itunes sight, I was advised that a 240mb update was needed for the ipod and that it would cost me £5.49. The amount is trivial, but should I not be able to expect current updates to be included in a new item? They certainly were for a TomTom that I bought a few months ago.
If the update fixes something that is broken, I'd be very unhappy. I received an old-style iPOD as a gift and the first update was a bug fix (something to do with USB I think.) If it's a new feature, let them keep it. The amount may be trivial now but wait until updates start coming every week. iPODs are so far behind most other media players in what they will play that there's quite a market in this field alone.
They charge for updates because they're Apple, who's fans believe can do no wrong. This means that Apple think they can get away with anything.
If Microsoft tried some of the tricks Apple get up to they'd be dragged through the courts in seconds (witness the EU making MS produce a version of Windows without Windows Media Player, but no-one has tried to get Apple to remove iTunes from MacOS)...