I'm glad you got a chance to play with it but sorry to hear that you didn't like it. It has been my experience that once someone actually uses it and understands what its use is, gets what its about. However from reading your post, I don't think this would appeal to you anyway.
I agree that the iPad is not for everyone and maybe one day, a few versions from now it will be a laptop replacement. I'm glad you could add your voice to the debate and hopefully we can continue this way.
I also think that you can't judge anything by price alone, you have to judge it on value. To me, the iPad offers me a lot of value. Looking at all it does, in a small lightweight package that I can take pretty much anywhere.
I have built a couple of Keynote presentations on the iPad now. Two to be exact and while it was not as easy as using Keynote or Powerpoint on my Mac, if I had to do it while I was traveling I could.
Well, I got to play with an iPad for a good while at the Apple store this weekend, and my reaction was a resounding....
Sorry, I just don't get it. I mean, it was cool, for like the first 5 minutes, then it was just kind of annoying. The fact that it looked a bit nasty from a thousand hand/finger prints didn't help.
The games they had on it at the Apple store were just kind of annoying (one driving game looked cool at first, but got old quickly).
I tried the book-reader, and I had two major complaints - one, the screen is glowing, and I couldn't figure out immediately how to dim it, which is hard on the eyes (and the battery life), and two, I couldn't figure out how to hold it and flip the pages single-handedly - at least not easily. It is a bit heavy after a good while, which I guess is three complaints.
Beautiful, to be sure, but I'd never trust it to do more than casual web surfing (certainly would never "pay bills" like the iPhone commercial I saw today). If I was into facebook as much as my wife, maybe I'd be more enthused - but even she said she'd rather have an iPhone.
I have an iPod Nano for music and videos on -the-go, a Kindle for reading (it simply is much lighter, easier on the eyes, and easier to use), a blackberry for work/phone/email, and a laptop for serious Internet stuff. And I'm perfectly OK with those being separate devices.
I simply don't have a use for a $500 device that tries to do all of those things - but does none of them really well...
Make an iPad with an Intel I series processor, Anti-virus and firewall, that can switch to LCD reflective mode, is a lot lighter, and has some basic buttons, maybe.
It's a neat concept, and if they'd beaten the e-book readers to market, they might have cornered the market beforehand. But now, I just didn't see the point...