I know what you guys mean about the micro-amp and speakers thing, but I've given that quest up for a couple reasons. First, that's not a "portable" solution, and anybody in college who is listening to not-portable music is probably streaming it through the computer (which makes the iPod integration redundant). Second, there are good values to be had on powered speakers, which is a more elegant (and probably less costly) approach than 3 boxes.
Mark won't shut up about how good his Mackies sound, and I have a friend with some Behringer powered speakers that are really nice.
So, I think that unless you have the speakers or the amp already, it just doesn't make sense.