I've now had my NOOK for 3 days. I got the color version instead of the e-ink version! I've hardly used it (believe it or not), so these are just a few preliminary thoughts in case you are interested in the e-reader phenomenon: (I'll keep you posted; my tech-y hubby is drooling over the possibility of converting the NOOK to an Android tablet... that's what happens when you're married to an electrical engineer!)
Price: obviously, tablets are more expensive than designated e-readers; that being said, make sure you know what you are getting.... NOOKs and Kindles can only access their own books, not the library's.....
Planned uses: e-readers are fine if that's all you want to do; the color NOOK can do a lot of extras (movies, email, etc.), but this is key, folks: If you want to purchase all your e-books, go with the Kindle or NOOK. If you want to be able to check out e-books from libraries and such, make sure you get a compatible device. Turns out that my NOOK won't accommodate the software needed to check out books from my local library (nor will the Kindle), so I'm limited to the Barnes and Noble freebies unless I want to buy everything I read. And, I don't.
Kids: OK, I'll admit it. There are some great features on this little device for kids! I think waiting in a doctor's office or something like that will be much more bearable with movies, games, and drawing apps at my fingertips--not to mention books that can be heard and seen by the kiddos.... Some fun stuff to explore here.
Screen: This is cool: the screen can be easily seen from a number of angles (not like a computer monitor) making it fairly easy to share with a few people at the same time. Graphics are great. So, that's a plus when you have little people looking over your shoulder... constantly.
One final note: If you check email all the time and/or are on your computer all the time, a tablet might be worth it. After all, it is more interactive with your family in a bizarre sense. OK, this is like feeding the beast. But think of how inviting someone's back is when they're staring at a computer screen and sitting in the one desk chair. Contrast that with someone sitting on a couch holding a tablet. It's easy to sit next to him/her and read your own thing or look on comfortably. I'm thinking this is a plus.
Any thoughts from the peanut gallery who have had experience with e-readers/tablets?