I wonder how many readers out there are like me and don’t have much interest in a color/touch screen Kindle. The books I read are pretty much black and white, and those with color elements that I do purchase (e.g. art books) are of the type that are fairly pointless to buy as ebooks. As to the touch screen, I don’t see a whole lot of use for it beyond being able to swish your fingers over the screen and attempt to believe that you’re recreating the mechanical experience of turning the pages of a book.
At any rate, I’m one of those people who likes the idea of a dedicated ereader. Multitasking is overrated, and just because we can build a device that can play music and display books and wash your car all at once doesn’t mean we should.
Obviously this is a much different conversation if we’re talking magazines, in which case the iPad is clearly superior. But were not talking about magazines, and in any case the iPad price seems to be prohibitive if you are thinking of it as a magazine-reading platform. ($500 could buy me a whole lot of magazine subscriptions (I think that would keep me in Harper’s magazines more or less through the rest of my natural life), and I can already read those on my laptop, or even print them out or wait for the post office pony to bring me the print edition.)