They're out. Selling well, but you should be able to find one if you want one. I've got the money set aside for a new tablet device, but am nearly convinced even Apple won't be able to overcome the natural inefficiencies a touch tablet entails. Sure, developers will come up with some amazing apps for the iPad. Several of your friends will have one or want one. The media is already blazing away about this new Apple Magic.
I had a chance to play with one today at my local BestBuy. I had the cash in my pocket to pay for one, and went in the store fully expecting to. Here's why I'm not yet a believer:
Most of us use a mouse with our PCs. A small flick of the mouse gives us access to any part of our large screens with very little movement. The iPhone OS was designed for cell phones and can be controlled with one thumb. Most people can both hold and control an iPhone in one hand. With the iPad Apple took the iPhone OS and simply stretched it out. You now have to hold up the 1.5lb device with one hand while traversing across it's 9.7 inch screen with the other. This is far from efficient. Other tablet manufacturers realize this, and are looking at User Interfaces (UIs) that require much less movement to use. Arranging the most-used icons along the right side of the screen for right-handed users, for example. One manufacturer has a small touch-pad on the back of the device, right where one's fingers normally rest. My archos 9 tablet provides an optical thumb-mouse on the right front bezel. Apple should and could have considered such alternatives rather than simply scaling up their ideal touch UI for cell phones. Even the Android UI will work with a mouse if you can connect to one (bluetooth works great).
The web cloud of first day iPad reviews seems universally glowing in praise of the iPad, but a closer look reveals the common "No one needs an iPad". You probably want one though, thanks to all the hype. My advice? Go ahead and get one if you can afford it. Please save your receipt.