Proving that you can indeed teach an oldish dog, newish tricks, reader cpaconnelly reminded me of an important lesson: Always check preferences.
This reminder came because I stated in this very space not more than an hour or so ago that Apple's Address Book -- unlike Palm Desktop, Entourage, and Outlook -- doesn't export text entered in the Notes field when you export a contact as a vCard.
By default, this is true.
Ah, but check Address Book's Preferences and, sure enough, there's the Export Notes in vCards option. Enable it and text entered in the Notes field does indeed appear in the resulting vCard (and in the Notes area of a vCard copied to the iPod's Contacts folder).