One thing that seems pretty consistent in everything I've read is that you really can't appreciate the iPad until you've held it and used it. I've seen MANY people who were at the event say this. It does kind of make sense. It's easy to point out what we perceive are flaws (I really wanted a webcam), but until I get a chance to actually see it, I'm going to reserve judgement a little.
I got a Kindle for Christmas and returned it in anticipation of the iPad. So I pretty much had $300 (when you count the leather case for the Kindle) set aside for this.
In the short time I used the Kindle, I liked it overall. A pretty good experience for purchasing and reading books, although my opinion is that the e-ink screen is overrated. The Kindle sucks though at newspapers and magazines.
The way I look at it, the iPad should be able to at least match the Kindle on reading books. Again, this is because I think the Kindle's screen is vastly overrated. However, the iPad should be leaps and bounds ahead of the Kindle and everyone else when it comes to newspapers and magazines. Throw in the fact that you can browse the web and all of the other features, it seems worth the extra $200 when I think about it.