And it's magical.
People always try to compare the iPad to net-books, tablet computers but in honesty, it isn't meant to compete with either of them. It's a new class of PC - for very specific features. We really shouldn't take the iPad lightly, if it's able to execute these "specific features" well, it can become something quite special.
The first thing that I felt when I held the iPad is that it feels a bit thick. Yes, it sounds odd but It just doesn't feel as thin as it looks. It's not a deal breaker but I would have liked a few millimeters off the curved back.
Another thing that is evident is how much more tactile the home button feels compared to the iPhone.
The iPhone OS started off as a tablet OS and it's clearly evident. The iPhone OS runs so much better on the iPad that it makes the iPhone feel incredibly uncomfortable. When I use the iPhone now, it just... well, feels like crap.
Apple seems to be going for a sharper design language. The buttons and the rotational lock switch (which is awesome by the way) have a surprisingly sharp edge.
Every time I hold an aluminum Apple product, I am surprised by how well Apple executes aluminum. Also, the Apple logo isn't scratching and leads me to believe that it's ceramic or glass.
If you are going to buy an iPad, I really feel that the 64GB versions are ideal. The iPad is really all about stuffing all the content you own in it - and 16/32GB just doesn't cut it (for most people).
Also, I would go for the Wi-Fi version of the iPad. 70% of the places you're at will have Wi-Fi access anyways. Instead, use your phone (if supported) to tether your iPad to it.
One thing that bugs me immensely: the iPad's lock screen looks rather ridiculous. There is so much space on that screen that can be put to better use. It would be great to have the schedule, weather and other information on it.
If you think the iPad is "just" a "big iPhone" you are mistaken. The big display is really what enables it to be revolutionary.
Apps like iBooks really showcase what the iPad is all about. It's about a new age of content distribution and consumption that just "works".
The keyboard is very usable too. Almost life-size. It's still missing many languages though.
Some of my favorite Apps:
USA Today (free). I read it every morning and it's a brilliant metaphor of the newspaper. The looks and works very much like a real newspaper.
Reuters (free) is also fantastic but takes a completely different approach from USA Today. Instead of trying to imitate paper, it goes for a more modern UI. It also has imbedded videos with annoying ad pre-rolls.
Twitterlator ($5) is my Twitter client of choice. I've tried most of the ones for the iPad and none of them beat Twitterlator's good looks and ease of use.
Dropbox (free) has also released an iPad specific app, and we all know how ridiculously useful Dropbox is.
Wikipanion (free) is probably my favorite application on both the iPhone and iPad. If you are a heavy wikipedia user, it really gives you an experience that is so much more polished than using a web browser.
Weather HD ($1) is a weather application but looks incredible. It plays a surreal video that matches the current weather condition in the background.