Great summation from Daniel Indiviglio: "It's kind of like an iPhone and Kindle had a baby, and pumped it full of steroids." He, like others, are wondering whether there's any real point in having this thing, other than it's just a cool-looking (and expensive) gadget. A toy, really.
I don't think anyone doubts that the iPad is a brand new kind of device. It's different from anything else out there. But is it too different? People who want laptops won't really want one: it isn't as functional as a full-fledged computer. People who want eReaders won't really want one: it's got way more features than a simple eReader, at a much higher price tag. So Apple has to conjure up consumer demand for a totally new kind of product. It isn't easy to create interest in something new out of thin air. But what's worse: I don't know what kind of consumer it will appeal to.
Some of these same arguments came up about the iPhone, which also seemed expensive at first and took quite a few months before showing its true app potential. Even naysayers admit that it will take at least that long before a verdict can be reached. Anyway, it's far from a slam-dunk - even with Apple's recent track record, the company has seen plenty of misses over the years.