Tablets are still a grey area and you can't point to a single person who had action taken against them... if anything were tried at this point they would fall undertake same ruling.
Due to the way the DMCA is written, jailbreaking is presumed illegal unless the LoC gives an exemption. An exemption was explicitly requested for tablets and was denied via tortured logic. Consoles were covered too. Phones were retained, but cellphone unlocking was covered under the tortured legalese as well, and made illegal (thus the Congressional rush to make it legal.)
anyone jailbreaking is probably downloading torrents already, so why does legality matter again?
Because it shouldn't be a federal crime to use your device as you see fit, regardless of whether they'll actually prosecute. This notion that people using their devices freely is somehow inherently associated with criminality is part of a shitty, insulting mindset.
Metaphorically speaking that is always true of a device you have physical control of.
Yes, metaphorically speaking. Practically speaking, they're making a pretty direct statement that you are not in control, they are.
The state in many cases says choices should not be made by those not capable of making them.
Holy shit, when they do this it's due to mental impairment, not lack of education!
Similarly I am fine with device makers adding enough security so someone skilled enough to deal with the repercussions of removing them can do whatever they like, which is the world we live in today.
Except this isn't similar! The device vendor arbitrarily declares themselves the authority and fight against you to enforce it. And no amount of competency or education will convince them to give you control - they have reserved it for themselves.