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I'm a student and received the iPad as a gift. The intention of the gift was that I could use it in my studies to make life a little bit easier and mean that I wouldn't have to lug a laptop around everywhere.
Unfortunately I found that the note-taking programs available on the iPad were just not suitable for what I wanted to use them for.
However, it is very, very good at other things.
For example, I've used it to stream movies on my home network which it does perfectly. I enjoy playing all kinds of games on it (the iPad really comes into it's own when you fully take advantage of the app store). If there is a nearby wi-fi connection, or you have the 3g connection, it really is great for casually browsing the web, facebook, twitter etc. The intuitive touch screen method of controlling browsing is truly fantastic.
You can read any number of books on it via the iBooks app, which I also feel is very good.
It should also be noted that the pages, numbers and keynote apps are by no means bad, they were just not suitable for me.
My personal opinion is that it is like a very good online magazine, great for the casual user or perhaps less technical work and simple note-taking, but if you plan on creating real high-level presentations or documents you might just be better off with a netbook.
Bear in mind that with the release of the iPad 2 you can now get the iPad at a knock-down price with only small differences in functionality.