Let's get this straight. I've never been one to jump on the Apple bandwagon, and the only thing I own made by them is a 160 gig ipod classic. When I heard the ipad was being released I took a look at it and immediately decided I didn't need one nor would I ever want one. Now I'm starting to reconsider my original opinion.
The ipad really seems to be intended for somebody who wants to be able to stay connected to the internet wherever they are, and be able to do light work/play on the system. This would include web browsing, ebook reading, netflix, some games. I think where the ipad falls flat is that what it does has been done before and is already available to iphone and computer users. If you think about it, the person who wants this type of portability probably owns an iphone or similer smart phone already and doesn't see the need for yet another piece of metal to carry along with his laptop.
Here is where the ipad is starting to draw my attention and interest. I do not have a smart phone or iphone and taking my laptop everywhere I go is not very appealing to me. The biggest pull of the ipad for my own personal use would have to be using it as an ebook reader. I'm currently in college and being able to save about half my money on a virtual book over its real world counterpart sounds extremely pleasant. I would also be able to carry all my books with me at one time rather than needing to switch out books between classes and carrying them all the time. Some of the other apps the ipad can be equipped such as netflix and the comic book reader are also pushing points of the device for me.
Being able to use the ipad as a gaming device seems to be a bit gimmicky and unnecessary. I think spending $500 (at least) on piece of hardware just for gaming would be an extreme waste of money. The ipad does perform light gaming functions well, and I'm sure the games are fun, but I don't see a major use for gaming on the ipad.
Most of the complaints I see towards the tablet appear to be related to the lack of flash support, no camera, and that apple is a generally "evil" company just wanting money. Flash support does not appear to be a major issue with the use of HTML5 support in most websites online. As far as the camera I personally don't need or want one on my ipad. I wouldn't ever be using skype on it as it's meant to be a light portable device for use on the go.
So in closing I can definitely see the use for the ipad as a mobile book reader and excellent tool for keeping up with the internet in a efficient but portable way. The device is a little bit more than I want to pay for it, but I could see myself buying one especially for use as a beefed up ereader.