Fortunately for all rumor mongers, it was indeed a tablet that was announced by Apple today. They would have looked quite silly if it had been something else. :-)
From what I’ve seen so far, I like it. As usual, there’s a large number of bloggers and commenters who disagree, sometimes with valid arguments, but most of them seem to be of the flavor “oh noes it has no camera” or “it’s just a large iPod Touch”. Whatevs. Most people won’t care, they will just use it for videos, music, web surfing, reading books and magazines, email, instant messaging, and much more, without a steep learning curve. Sure, it’s not a replacement for a “real” laptop or desktop computer, but I don’t think it was intended to be anyway.
Personally speaking, I do want one, but not immediately when it becomes available. Not only do I not have the funds for it at the moment (I was unemployed for ~5 months last year, remember), but also, from what I have seen, it’s better to wait when buying hot new Apple products. (Remember the iPhone price drop?) Chances are the price will go down, or the low-end model will be beefed up. They will likely also need time to iron out the wrinkles in the operating system, and developers would need time to start writing apps specifically for the iPad.
(When/if I have money to blow, I would probably sign up for the developer program and start writing apps. And in spite of the App Store restrictions, I might be able to use Scheme! :-)
One thing I am wondering is if the touch screen will work (or can be made to work) with a stylus… essentially you’d then have a Wacom drawing pad. Coupled with the right software, that could be a great tool for artists. (Or musicians… imagine a Kaossilator app…)