I teach computers at an elementary school where we have a couple hundred iPads floating around the building that I'm partially responsible for managing and I'm starting to figure out more and more just how powerful these things are. It's true that you won't be able to do any kinds of specialized or high end work on them now but for the average user who only needs to check email, surf the web and write in a word processor it's just fine. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's better. I can open up a document either in Google Docs or in a word processing app so much faster than I can on Word on my MacBook (or Pages). The lack of Flash support is a little annoying but most of the sites I visit are creating mobile friendly versions so it's not that big of a problem. The inclusion of a camera in the iPad was what really pushed it over the top for me though. I can take a picture and post it to Facebook or my blog in under a minute whereas something like that used to require a number of inconvenient steps.
But what I'm noticing the most is that my students (K-4th grade) don't struggle with it at all whereas my teachers do. I used to think it was because kids learn and absorb new ideas faster than adults do but I've come to realize it's because they don't have a preconception of what a computer is. To us, it's a monitor a keyboard and a mouse. That's the way it's been since the 80s and unless we were using Apple IIs (I was) it's the only way it's ever been. We see an iPad and it means re-learning how to do things. Even though they take less time, tasks seem inconvenient because they're unfamiliar whereas my students pick it up and go to town, often showing us how to do things.