Seriously, Do Not Disconnect
Man, iPods are serious when they say not to disconnect them. I yanked mine (an archaic, 10-month-old iPod photo) from its dock this morning without thinking. It worked fine all day but it was not having anything to do with my computer when I tried to get to to sync this evening. Wouldn’t mount, Disk Utility couldn’t do anything with it, no choice but to click the magical Restore button from the latest iPod Updater.
And all was well. (Following a complete re-sync of songs, photos, contacts, and calendars.)