I had tried both devices (nook hd, and kindle hd) in succession, and even with an extra $50 off promotion from staples, I returned the nook hd the next day.
While it is a much greater hardware, they botched up on software setup. It could not keep connection to my brand new 300Mbit wifi router, and I had no intention to go back to 50mbit (or whatever the older one was). On the other hand kindle was connecting fine, even at 5GHz band. Without connectivity neither of these devices are useful.
And while searching for a solution to my problem, I ran into many other complaints from nook hd users. Apparently they pushed updates without checking, and the latest update - at that time - was causing data corruption on sd card. the solution they suggested (since downgrade was not an available option thanks to lockin), was taking off the sd card.
And while the resolution was much much higher, it was obvious that the cpu/gpu was not able to keep up. Both devices were sluggish, but nook much more so.
And finally there was no front facing camera. I could care less about a back camera on a tablet, but if I'm getting a nice screen and a wireless device, I expect to call my folks on it. No camera = no go.
So after one and a half day of struggle, I returned the nook, and kept the kindle. (I had a very tight budget, and could not purchase nexus at that time).