iTunes is the worst, no doubt. However you'll only ever have to see it when you sync, and I sync my phone once a month if that. There are a bunch of apps if you want to use it as a storage device and avoid syncing all the time.
Foobar is a good, lightweight tool as an alternative for playing and organizing your media as opposed to iTunes but Apple, being the control freak that it is, keeps tight reins on anything that will actually sync with iPod's/iPhones. Winamp also has a media player/organizer that will sync with non touch screen Apple products plus they offer a plug-in for older touch products but it's not a guaranteed workaround.