While I agree that an ebook reader can't compete with the soft touch and feel of a book yet, you really ought to try one. I've got a Sony Reader and its really not all that bad. The absence of backlighting makes it really easy on the eye, I charge the battery once in a couple of weeks -- admittedly I don't spend TOO much time reading -- but yes the battery life is reasonably long and the reader comes with a soft cover so you can hold it like a book although it still has one screen (yes the cover protects the screen as well).
What I like about e-readers is that I can read multiple books in parallel -- depending on my mood, I just pick one and continue where I left off and switch to something else when I get bored (ADD?). The one thing I'm missing with my reader (its an older model) is a built-in dictionary which I believe Kindle and Nook both have. The newer versions of the Sony Reader have them too along with note taking features. But yeah, its quite a nice gadget and I've done hours of fun reading on it. If you can get your hands on one (borrow?) for a short while, give it a shot. Takes a getting used to but you might be pleasantly surprised.