I could not agree more. A consistent behavior I've seen of naysayers is a continual comparison of the newly announced iPad vs. laptops.
Here's one scenario that I don't see any laptop or netbook taking on. Increasingly HDTVs are coming with Ethernet ports to stream content off the Net. But who says they have to act purely as clients? That is, reading information, e.g., movies off Netflix's video servers. Why can't the TV be the server? Albeit a really simple server. Like the kind where instead of relying on infrared signals it abides by a well known command protocol coming through its Ethernet connection.
So before too long the TV industry devises a standard (that would be layer 7 application protocol for all the geeks) for controlling televisions via Ethernet interfaces. Then, before you know it, you'll see a remote control application for the iPad (or its posterity) where every living room device that has a remote will have its buttons represented as a skin overlaid on the iPad's surface. This is one of many scenarios that comes to mind where a laptop or netbook simply does not make the grade and looking at the iPad strictly through such a lens falls short.
Which is why I couldn't agree more with the title of Morgenstern's blog post "Dude, the iPad isn't a notebook - get over it!"
If you have doubts about the enthusiasm the iPad generated, I can tell you empirically that as Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's latest creation, tech sites were being hammered with traffic. I found Engadget and ZDNet to be noticeably slow as the morning of the iPad's unveiling wore on. I was following the announcement through:
I visited other tech sites since I was curious to see the buzz elsewhere - I found them to be very slow.