I've had lots of USB memory sticks in my day. I remember my excitement when I got my first 128MB stick almost 4 years ago. Those were the days when almost anything fit on 128MB. Since then I've had numerous USB sticks but all of them have been badly built. My last one was beautifully small, but within a week of using it I'd managed to rip the back plastic attachment clean off, exposing the circuit board and all!
My latest USB stick is the Sandisk Cruzer Contour. Available in both 4 and 8GB varieties the Sandisk is unique in its build quality and clever mechanism that lets you hide the USB stick away when not in use. This is a real convenience as I was constantly losing those small caps that covered my other sticks.
If performance is what you are after the Cruzer delivers. With a write speed of 18 MB/sec2 and a read speed of 25 MB/sec. The Cruzer Contour also supports the ReadyBoost feature in Microsoft Windows Vista, which taps unused storage space on USB flash drives to improve system performance – especially when several applications are running simultaneously.
The Cruzer is at the pricey end of the scale, with the 4Gb costing $145 and the 8Gb cost $245 and available from most good retailers and online.