Unfortunately for capacitive screens, they do shatter (or at least crack in the corners). I've got 3 iPad's, 2 older iPhones & iPod's, and a iPhone 6+ around here which are on at-least their second screen, with a couple other cracked Android phones to boot. The resistive layer on a resistive screen provides some additional level of durability in that regard, are tolerant of rain drops, don't register input before contact, have reflection free non-gloss matte screens, can be used through light gloves, and - care of fingernails - can be extremely accurate without obscuring what you're trying to touch with the bulk of your finger. I imagine this is why I'm still signing for packages on resistive screens. I still hate capacitive screens, particularly for soft-keyboards.
Going with iOs for the tablets wasn't innovative (given the existance of netbooks as you mention), though it has been profitable. That the iPad would use iOs was no surprise, they like their long-tail app revenue, nor the gradual convergence of iOs and OS-X since... walled gardens et. al.; but the original iPad was oversized and underwhelming. Microsoft's courier project was arguably somewhat innovative, who knows, never happened. The original iPad though I have no love for. I have one, stuck on some old OS version which doesn't run Netflix, which means the kids don't even use it, so it hasn't aged well either.
What allowed the iPad to succeed was not innovation, or some form of foresight of where the world was going, it was marketting - they beat out the path they wanted with their marketting dollars and brand-fanciers followed it. I wouldn't attribute much of Apple's current success, really, to hardware nor software design - they are first and foremostly a marketting company and have excelled in this respect. Absent this, they would not be in the marketplace today, their markups would be wholely unsustainable and iPad's I suspect would have been a flash in the pan, rapidly forgotten in the face of convertible netbooks or similar. They make glossy hardware and software which shows well in print and commercials, with a few interesting bullet points suitable for a single-sheet, despite the mid-level build build quality and software which is either too simple or too fragile to truely be utilitarian.
For mechanical Apple keyboards, have a look at the Matias tactile line. Apple also used to make clicky alps-based keyboards. Can't stand the chicklet keyboards.
I don't care much for what Apple sells but the kids and wife don't hold the same opinion. I get to deal with all their gear when it inevitably stops working. I wish I could have a limited opinion thereof, but you're right, not practical. And mine is certainly both detailed, and cranky.