I haven't owned an apple product since the flying toaster macintoshes, but that's not saying I'm a hater....I owned a WebTV back "in the day" and it had it's place. I believe, like it or not, that consumer "gadgets" are the future. I've always had an interest in tablets, and I'm sure I wouldn't get an Ipad, but that is only because I'm a geek...I, like alot of us here, am the defacto "computer guy", and I can see why apple succeeds; the average joe just wants something that works, with no tech knowledge whatsoever. Apple does it's best to provide this. The Ipad, while horrible to us geeks and nerds, will promote the technology in general.
Personally, I'de like to see a tablet that can take over as an e-reader, universal remote, RDP/ICA reciever, and general HTPC control unit. I can do this currently with any old laptop with alot of work, but a simplified product for the technologically impaired would be nice. A laptop simply does not have the "feel" of a tablet. Something to get cozy on the couch, check my E-mail, surf a little, key up a movie or music to the entertainment center, read some news, and so forth, is the future role of a tablet. I have a whole slew of laptops I use as terminals, but they are not real convenient in this role. I hope tablets can mature into a truely simplified household control center, NOT a fully functioned PC. The Ipad is a start, at least in awareness of future potential.