I'd recommend the Zoom H1
People prefer zoom over other brands just because they're just that little bit cheaper.
the H1 still has the same mic as the H2/H4 range (since they're practically mass manufacturing them at this stage since it's been such a fluke of good design) at I think about half the price of the h2/h4
I've owned (andor) used all 3 and done side by side comparisons and they sound very, very close to the same.
downsides (which both apply to h2-h4 anyway) :
1) it's an active mic so there is a lot of 'handling' noise, you need to put it on a tripod or a bench or something
2) it's an active mic, so you'll also get a lot of wind noise, but using a foam cover on the mic or a windbreaker will fix this up
3) the pickup field is super sensitive and despite what the add says it will pick up anything around and behind the mic, so it's not so good for doing precise directional stuff like
4) to me the sound has a lot missing in the midrange, and there are certain spikes in the high range, this is more of an issue if you're recording quiet sounds than if you're recording loud sounds
also there is only one input (either stereo built in mic, or line in) unlike the h4 which has both the mic, and line in inputs at the same time, also the h1 doesn't have any of the phantom power bells and whistles.