Hi, and welcome to the forum rocks911
What model of iPod are you having?
I have an iPod nano, and I am using XP SP2. I am using the latest version of iTunes, version 10.
As much as I dislike Apple products too, but still, I will have to admit that iTunes is the best software for managing the iPod. There are free iPod managers available, but most of them do not work as good as iTunes. Further, I have come across none which can handle video files. So, for dealing with video files, you will have to install iTunes.
iTunes is not that bad, if you start using it. But yes, its bulky, and installs extra things along with it, which are not needed. To get rid of the bloat, you can have a look at this wonderful article :
Other than iTunes, I have found SharePod to be a good iPod manager, using which you can transfer music to and from your iPod. This was the one that impressed me, of all others that I tried. You can try, and see if you like it.
I haven't tried Floola yet, and I have read its good too.
You can take a look at these threads, for more suggestions about iPod software :
Transfer Music from Ipod Shuffle to PC
transfer songs off your iPod to a PC
Besides, the above suggestions, there are music players/organizers which can handle iPods. Winamp is one, but I think you need to get the iPod plug-in for it to work with iPod.
MusicBee, MediaMonkey are others.
Good luck. Do share your experiences