No no it's not man territory, it's nerd territory. Honestly, I'm an iPod guy, but I only play music. They just have the largest hard drive I've seen so I can store all my songs. As long as you aren't going to be storing tons of music, mp3 players aren't bad.
As for a good source for music, iTunes may be risky for mp3 players since the purchased songs are in an aac file, which I'm not sure if mp3 players play that format.
As for the stereo being "iPod ready", see if it only has a USB port for it or if there is a port/hole in it that says "AUX IN". If it has AUX IN, you should be good, but if you only have a USB port for the iPod, it may not work.