After multiple attempts to buy an iPad from two different stores, I finally gave up and ordered it on-line. It took 2 weeks to arrive. Behold. My verdict? Fabulosity incarnate.
Not that it's perfect. First, the drawbacks. It cannot drive the car. It cannot walk the dog. It does not mix martinis nor make coffee. Futhermore, it does not have a camera, it does not play YouTube videos (unless you go directly to youtube.com, then it does, and other times, for no reason I can fathom, it doesn't), and it only opens one app at a time. But what it can do is a paradigm-changer of jaw-dropping proportion. It's the touch-screen, it's the elegance of the design, it's the apps, apps galore, apps-a-looza, apps-o-rama, apps like Maps, Betty Crocker Cookbook, NPR, BBC, WSJ, the Financial Times, New York Times, Bloomberg, El Pais, The Weather Channel, eBay, Netflix, YouTube, and a never-ending parade of wierd little surprise-os such as Jumbo Calculator, Magic Piano, Drum Meister, White Noise, Bowls HD, DiscoBaby, iFish Pond, Gravitarium, Dice HD, and Swine Flute. (OK, some of the apps are pretty crappy. There were several I installed that, after two seconds, I gladly deleted.) But with thousands of apps to choose from already, who's complaining? Not Yours Truly. And an iBook in the iPad makes the Kindle-- a wonder in its moment-- look like, well, something dreamed up in the back end of a Neanderthal's cave. The iPad is that much better: a more reader-friendly design, in color, connected to the Internet (not just that Sprint thing), so you can, zip, zoom over to whatever website, zap, play the Swine Flute (if you should feel so moved), diddle "Fur Elise" on the Magical piano, work on a Keynote doc, check your e-mail, check the NYT, and so on and in multitudinous so-forth. You might come up for air at, say, 4 am.
P.S. Amusing iPad video (ipad + velcro = love)