Now that I have an iPad, I can honestly say that my previous entry was spot on. This computer has really replaced my laptop almost entirely and I couldn't be happier with it. As I've told many people, this thing scratches all my itches. I needed a way to read my plethora of PDFs--and there's GoodReader. I wanted to read books in a dedicated eReader--iBooks fits the bill. (In fact, I've already read The Driver by Garet Garrett and it was a very pleasant, comfortable experience. I think I'm going to end up reading a lot this way.) I'd like to watch movies and TV shows--Netflix for iPad is a thing of beauty and ABC Video Player lets me keep up with Lost quite admirably.
If I wanted to produce content, this might be a very different entry. I am writing this on my iPad and the keyboard is quite capable for non-marked-up text but falls down hard once you start needing to do angle brackets. I was going to link up the other iPad apps I mentioned above but gave up. As it stands, i don't do as much blogging as I used to and I'd prefer what little I do do to be more essay than linked-up blog entry.
The battery life is incredible. I've streamed a lot of video, surfed more than ever, and read e-books but I've never gotten the battery below 44% or so. I had read somewhere--sorry, no link--that the iPad is basically two batteries with a computer and i believe it. I'd imagine that the 3G model is going to have a slightly-diminished battery life but i wouldn't be surprised if the reduction was minimal. Apple certainly exceeded my expectations here.
The one thing I wasn't expecting was the gawkers. I was in the waiting room of a hospital and it was the subject of much conversation. I have to factor in impromptu discussions about its merits when leaving to attend meetings at work. Everyone I've shown it to who is not a programmer has been wowed, which is as I expected.
It's certainly not for everyone but I'm glad I bought it. Time will tell if the "never buy the first generation of an Apple product" advice holds true though I am optimistic that this will be the exception.