Sucks that sock wasn't attached to the intake of the pump. This could easily explain a pump going out. Hopefully the problem isn't a nice greasy rusty blood clot in your fuel system. Avoiding being my usual pessimistic self, I'm sure the pump took the brunt of the damage that not having that initial screen/sock caused.
I hated the fit of that autozone pump, hated the fit of the carter fuel pump I ended up using from a local jeep shop around here just as much.... It "kinda" fit, had to rig it as secure as I could. Very irritating. OEM is the way to go whenever possible.
P.s.. Removing that cup didn't leave you with a hole in your tank after all now did it.
Above is the link to my thread which involved my first fuel pump replacement and question regarding that infamous plastic cup. Que enlightened me then (nearly 4+ years ago now) and no regrets since!