I was recently gifted a new kindle dx and thought it might be useful to report my initial thoughts for others considering jumping into buying an ebook reader.
This will be really quick, just some fast thoughts while they are fresh in my mind.
First, I underestimated how enjoyable it would be to read a normally-paperback fiction book on it. I normally read large format academic/reference books and papers, and rarely fiction, but decided to read a free version of Moby Dick (Herman Mellville) on the kindle, and it is extremely satisfying.
I think there are several reasons it's satisfying; the fiction format is very well suited to an ebook reader. the screen is larger than a normal paperback, and the fact that one reads such books linearly, page after page, makes the page turning speed 100% satisfactory. (this isn't the case when you want to quickly flip through a reference book).
The weight of the thing makes it fun to carry around the house and read in different rooms, and the e-ink is indeed much more comfortable to my eyes than an lcd screen ever is, and there is real advantage to there being no viewing-angle issues.
Compared to reading a book -- one thing i didn't realize is how much of an advantage it is that the ebook reader doesn't have the problems that books have of not saying folded open, and having to hold them open. the flat 2 dimensional slate feel of an ebook reader is actually a really nice thing. as much as i appreciate the physicality of a book -- there is some real advantage to the physical size and shape of an ebook reader from a functional standpoint. i'm surprised how pleasant it is to lay the book reader down flat on a table or on my lap or hold it with one hand while reading.
I never have a physical bookmark when i need one; having the ebook reader remember where i left off is nice.
Areas where i find the ebook reader less satisfactory:
Reference books and papers: it's very hard to capture the feel and experience you get from being able to really quickly flip through, scan, and browse such documents and can feel claustrophic and very limiting trying to do here.
There is something very attractive about being able to carry one device with hundreds or even thousands of books on it. however my initial experience has been that i'm not finding myself reading the same way i listen to music, wanting to have a hundred choices on hand at any given moment. instead reading seems more likely to be a matter of having one or two items at a time that one is focusing on. so this is not such a big deal.
If you love reading classic older literature, that is now in the public domain -- I think you need to get yourself an ebook reader; it's PERFECT for this, the books are free and readily available, and the reading experience is ideal.
In fact i'll go further: if you have a child you want to expose to fine literature, a wonderful gift might be to get one of these now cheap kindles, and fill it with public domain literature classics. And it's one of the few technological devices that can't be used to waste time and rot their brains.
Reading the NY times or other newspapers on it -- very cool how it gets them automatically each day, but not very satisfying to read. however reading the onion blog is quite fun.