Funny, just yesterday I was talking about that.
A coworker of my husband's was interested in getting an ebook reader, but she said the iPad might work better for her because she wants to highlight stuff (she want eto use it with etextbooks mostly).
I made a comment that she'd be better off getting an ebook reader that has that option (and they exist, even some with the option to take notes and stuff).
So it's funny you should start a thread about the iPad and compare it to ebook readers as well.
Anyway, I have no interest in the stuff but I'm not sure it will fail. Apple has a good history of selling expensive stuff with less functionality than the cheaper options.