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Thought of buying an iPad to replace the Nook? Bit of a pain in the ass to load homebrew software onto, but I hear the dev tools are pretty good. Plus, I expect it will be jailbroken within a couple of months.
I tried a Nook at a Barnes & Noble store. Loved the screen, hated the software. Very confusing user interface, and slow, despite being the new and improved software. I really wanted to like it but despite looking so good, and having such a pleasant physical design, it just wasn't good to use.
I do love the back panel's grippy surface and slightly bumps near the edge which make it easier to hold. The Kindle 2's brushed-metal back panel is full of fail; i put a vinyl skin from DecalGirl on the back to improve grip.