I gave some thought to why there's no video camera. I mean, it seems obvious that this thing should have a camera, right? And the teardown shows exactly where the camera was supposed to go.
I bet the software wasn't ready yet. Apple couldn't get the software ready in time for launch so they pulled the camera out. If they had left it in then they would have to open up its functionality to Skype and every other app writer who wants to put out video chat functionality. By putting the camera (in iPad 2nd generation) and the software on the same schedule, Apple makes video chat part of the core functionality of the device and gets to lock out every other video chat app.
Now the question remains as to why the software wasn't ready, seeing as how iChat would seem to be a fairly easy port to the iPad. Maybe they have something new and cool in mind for video chat? Or maybe there were some carrier restrictions. In any case, be thankful that they couldn't include the camera or right now you'd be at Starbucks trying to read Slashdot on your laptop while listening to some hipster having a video conversation with his hipster friend at the Starbucks on the other side of the street.