I'm sure the vast majority of those buying an iPad 2 will be very pleased with it. For the most part it lives up to the hype and is a very seductive piece of kit. After downloading iTunes onto the computer and registering, setting up the iPad is a doddle as it's simply a case of connecting it to the computer and the automatic 'synching' process does the rest.
Connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi with my 'N' router was as easy as entering the password and I have to say the response time of the Safari web browser was very impressive, with pages loading very quickly making web browsing a joy. The screen is a gem being bold and bright and large enough to be regarded as a serious web browsing monitor. The only slight criticism, which is often referred to, is how quickly the screen becomes covered in fingerprints. But I hasten to add the need to clean it only becomes apparent after you've turned the thing off and isn't a problem during use.
Of course, Apps are a huge attraction and there's a lot of fun to be had from browsing the App Store and downloading from the huge amount available, many of which are free and even the paid ones don't exactly break the bank. And apps can be downloaded directly onto the iPad, there's no need to sync them from the computer to the device.
If, like me, you enjoy keeping up with the news and catching up with missed TV programmes then apps like BBC iPlayer, Sky news for iPad, and the (currently free) Channel 4oD are obvious choices and are very impressive on the iPad. A YouTube app also comes as standard and there have been comments about losing Wi-Fi connection whilst using it which I did experience a few times. This may need to be fixed in a future update but it reconnected quickly and wasn't a big problem.
Criticism is bound to be subjective but there are a few things I'd refer to. Firstly, it seems that most people don't appear to have a problem with setting up their email account on the iPad, but for me it was a non starter. I have Outlook Express on my desktop PC and have never had problems setting up email accounts before. But my iPad just wouldn't receive emails - sending emails, yes, but it wouldn't receive them. I spent the better part of two days trying to beat this problem, but tech help both at Apple and my ISP along with lots of forum trawling couldn't resolve it. I tried setting it up manually, then synching OE from the computer, but all to no avail. Others seem to have had no problems in this respect so maybe it's just my bad luck.
The second thing is battery life. In just about every iPad review I've read, 10 hours seems to be the boastful claim and I notice other reviewers here are similarly impressed. Well, perhaps that 10 hours is possible with Wi-Fi turned off. But in my experience using the iPad with Wi-Fi turned on drained the battery in half that time. So, maybe time between charges depends on how much you surf the net. If not, then maybe mine had a substandard battery.
My third criticism is maybe due to the success of the iPad design. It's a beautiful thing and deceptively solid and strong, which is a good thing, right? But it's sleek, slim, highly polished profile makes for quite a 'slippery' unit. Using it on your lap or a table is fine but holding it as, say, an ebook reader (and iBooks, together with the Kindle app, are excellent by the way) can sometimes be a little frustrating as you try to work out the best way to hold it for any length of time.
Then there's the lack of Flash support which means that if you're someone who likes to watch video clips on the internet, or indeed any video content that requires Flash, then you're going to be frustrated by Apple's stubborn refusal to allow it to run on the iPad. There are a few apps and freeware programs out there which attempt to get around this issue but I wouldn't put too much faith in them at present. But if Flash is of no concern to you then obviously this can be discounted.
And finally, there's the price. Although the iPad2 is good value when compared to the original I think those of us in the UK still get legally mugged. To some extent we can thank the VAT hike to 20% which means that no less than a hefty £90 of a 64Gb iPad2 price is VAT. Of course, that's no fault of Apple but it does make the overall cost an important consideration.
If price isn't a concern and you don't mind shelling out so much for something that will probably be superseded by iPad3 in less than a year - and you're not frustrated by the email account problems I had and the niggles I refer to above then I'd say the iPad 2 is a serious contender for anyone looking for a tablet which, by all accounts, sets a standard in terms of design, build, and sheer usability that the 'android' competitors are still struggling to compete with.