Despite the on-line communities' best attempts to spoil the surprise, I still admire Apple's ability to keep a secret. The launch today of the iPad seems to have kept the usual Apple sparkle, despite Steve Jobs doing basically a sales pitch for the new gadget, albeit in his usual slick style.
Time will prove whether Apple have created a truly popular & new computing form factor. Personally, I like the fact the software will be custom-built for the device, ensuring the interface is smooth and capable. At the same time, this will restrict what can be run on the device, which would frustrate me. If you can make phone calls on it then I think that would be an advantage. The device does appear to be very desirable, something which the more generic competition might struggle to match. As 2010 progresses then, I'll be interested to see how many iPads are sold, and how the competing, lower-cost, and possibly Linux-powered competition pans out.
For me (a Google fan), a sub-£200 tablet running Google Chrome OS might be a perfect alternative.