Fast as an unladen iPad*
Much as been written about the iPad, so much than the army of monkeys may have said every smart thing there is to say. Yet I'll be a diligent monkey and give my thoughts as well, just in case there's something left ...
I will definitely buy an iPad. At the moment, I'm leaning toward the 64 GB wifi only model, but that may change. Which model to choose is in fact completely orthogonal to my motivations to buy one.
First, I want to experience the revolution that's going on. I believe this is a revolution, and as it has been said before, the revolution may have actually started in 2007, when the iPhone was introduced. The paradigm shift we're seeing consists of the machine and the OS fading away, and the spotlight focusing on what we actually want to do. We don't talk about files and documents anymore, we talk about watching a movie, reading a book, or browsing the web. Installing an application is as simple as buying a book or a song. In fact, we may not even think about installing applications, but simply adding activities to the device.
Second, I believe that the iPad will be a very useful device (for me). For instance, I've been trying to review papers paperlessly for about a year, and the iPad would definitely improve the reading experience. If someone develops a good PDF reader for the iPad that allows annotations, I'll be the first in line to buy it.
Along similar lines, I've been looking for an ebook reader for a while, and it may also fill this spot. I'll probably restart my Courrier International subscription, this time in electronic form only.
Then there are the many other small tasks, like skimming email or headlines while drinking the morning coffee, using the iPad to display pictures when one doesn't use it, giving it to the kids in the car to watch a movie for a long trip ... For these we already use our laptops, but they're big and clumsy (yes, even a 13" macbook is too big for the back seat of a car or for the breakfast table). I'm actually impatient to see what changes the iPad bring here.
My last motivation is that I see this iPad being used for a long time. It will probably become obsolete in one year, when one with the camera and faster processor comes out. In two years it will be an antiquity when they make it 1080p. But I still see myself and the kids reading books and comics on it, plugging it to the stereo when friends come over, and taking it to watch movies on the go. It may even end its life as a glorified picture frame, displaying our most beautiful or intriguing photos.
I may not be the first in line when the iPad comes out, but as you can see, I'll definitely not be the last one.
(*) When I started writing this, the French Apple site (and many other European sites) were not even mentioning the iPad. So I was wondering how fast we would get European iPads ...