well get a storage tank if not then more memory cards!
there are also pple who travel with only a card & burn them into CDs once the card is full. However, U can only do it if the country U are travelling to is as high tec (at least) as Singapore where CD burning is easily available.
1. About XDrive pricing. i got my XDrive at storage studio, SLS. About $200, w/o HDD. i put a 40GB inside.
2. XDrive only accepts FAT (or was it FAT32?). It does not allow formatting of your HDD to NTFS. No big deal, i guess.
3. XDrive has no verification whatsoever. You don't know if all your data has been transfered or not, except 'guessing' by the amount of time it takes to transfer. Sometimes it just aborts, beeps for a while, and if you weren't paying attention, you'd think everything was copied and proceed to erase your card. You can kiasu abit and transfer a few times, BUT...
4. XDrive batteries last for 2 or 3 full transfers from 1GB microdrive b4 batt flat. This is important consideration for traveling, esp for things like island trips where electricity is not available. i read somewhere someone improvised something that can run e xdrive off AA batteries. i'm looking into it. Of course, your digicam may run out of juice before your xdrive does.
5. Xdrive is quite 'fragile', in that once you start copying, you have to let the guy sit still undisturbed until it finishes. You cannot, for example, press 'copy', stuff the whole thing in your bag and hope for the best. Mine aborted a few times when i did that on a zoo trip. One full copy takes 20-35 minutes (1GB). On some shoots, one may not have that luxury of sitting around.
6. CF/MDs can fail. On a tour/travelling, it really sucks. Always buy two, even if the combined capacity is cheaper. i use two 1GB microdrives. If you're getting 1GB, consider 2x 512MB; let the extra cost be 'insurance'.
7. i don't have the links right now, but there are other models which 'verify' what has been written. Some even do picture viewing, like the Ranger Portabin. However, if you are recording in RAW format, i don't think those portable picture viewers can read them. Someone w such a unit care to confirm? Those w verification and viewer are in the $400-$800 range. Cathay carries a few models, and a number of shops in SLS carry the Portabin (~$800)
8. i strongly recommend the laptop option for travelling. If your pictures are important, a laptop provides backup, viewing, possible offline storage like CD/DVD burning and even uploading home.
9. After you factor everything in, you may want to compare w film and see if it's less hassle/expense. i had a friend who bought a film camera after a tour w his digicam.