Dude! Have you TRIED an iPad? Its really the thing.
Listen, I'm not an Apple fanboy by anymeans, however I'll tell you what I was a fanboy of for years: tablets. I bought lots from ebay, from the venerable IBM Thinkpad730T, various Fujitsu tablets, and even pretty much every MessagePad that came out. The MessagePads were the coolest, and there's alot from there that is missing from the iPad. That said though, all the "PC" style tablets were horrible, and they have become oddities in my closet. Why? The user experience.
The user experience was terrible, because they were tied to Windows. And Windows has never been a tablet OS, no matter what "Edition" you get it in. Its a desktop OS, at least in its consumer form, and so was "adapted" rather than designed from the beginning to work well with a tablet. Don't mention Linux, its got the same problem. Unless of course you redesigned Linux's interface from scratch for a tablet interface, you won't get anywhere with it. Oh wait, gee Google did that with Android. And I hear its pretty successful.
But Apple kick started the whole thing off with the iPhone, at least in the popular mind set, and its a pretty neat device as things go. But, looking at the iPad, you start to think that maybe this is where they wanted to go all along. In fact I can't actually imagine anyone designing the iOS interface for the small size of the iPhone. Im sure what happened was that they had this tablet program, and they realized that for reason x, y and z (processing power, memory, battery life, whatever), what they wanted to offer wasn't feasable, but was a few years off. So they scaled it down screen wise and put it on the iPhone. But make no mistake, as soon as you play with the iPad more than casually (ie: daily use, integrated into your life), the iPhone seems kind of like a toy by comparison. And the iPad has done what no other tablet has done that I'm aware of (except maybe the original MessagePads, and the new Android based ones coming up), which is start from the ground up with an OS designed for tablets, and create a great tablet experience.
So right now iPad competitor is a pretty good term. It might not be three years out, but today, everyone that has tried in the past has more or less failed. The recent announcement was that they sold 3.5 million iPads? I think Fujitsu would cream there pants to have that much success in their portable computing division.
Anyways try it before you judge. You might be surprised. I would give the same advice to the Android tablets, or any new kind of tablet OS that is designed properly for the format.