Apple has a created a huge racket with their iPod. When you buy an iPod for $300-$400, it comes with a USB cable. But if you want a dock, you will have to pay about $40 for the Universal Dock. If you want to use this dock on a different computer than where you have connected the iPod included cable, you will have to get another $20 cable since the Universal Dock doesn't come with a cable.
I didn't want to pay $20 for this cable, so when I was at Fry's, I saw this $10 retractable iPod cable from Macsense. It works perfectly. (In fact, the dock connector itself seems to grip the iPod better.) I can imagine that this cable could break before the Apple one would, as there are moving parts in the retracting mechanism.