I don't use my iPod for contacts so I've never tried it. And I don't use a desktop app. All of my contacts are stored with my GMail account which syncs across devices.
However, I did finally get everything syncing using VirtualBox and a XP VM. I thought it was giving me trouble passing the USB port from Ubuntu to the VM but it finally started working. So it's not technically syncing under Ubuntu (so much for "out of the box" support) but at least it's working on my desktop now.