I got a Zoom H4 about a month and a half ago. It was bought for quite a bit less than the list price by shopping with one of the electronics companies that partner with Amazon. It was bought for and by a historical society I'm secretary of primarily for recording meetings (to have an audio record to compare written minutes to later) and will be used for interviews, story-telling, and the like. Being an amateur singer of folk songs myself and since I have custody of the recorder as secretary, I just had to try recording some songs. Once you get the hang of the controls, it's about the easiest recording to digital files that I've ever done. I may have to buy me one to play with so I don't wear out the society's unit. ;-)
BTW, if you record in MP3 and want to download the files to a PC, you don't have to have the bundled editing software installed on the PC. You simply hook up the USB and use the H4 like a portable disk drive. Plus the H4 doesn't have to be powered up to use the USB connector; it'll run off the USB PC power. That saves battery life.
Although I've not had experience with any of the other portables, I think the H4 is a really good choice for recording when a full board recorder can't be used.