I’ve owned the Amazon Kindle 2 e-book reader for less than a month. Today, I dropped my messenger bag containing the kindle, my laptop, and a variety of other things about a foot onto the street. Nothing else in the bag is damaged even a little — there was so little force in the drop that I probably could have put a wine glass in there and it would have been fine. The kindle shows no visible damage. But the screen no longer functions and Amazon has “generously” offered to replace it for only $200.00.
This replacement decision isn’t obvious because of the power of sunk costs etc., but I can’t recommend anyone else ever buy one. They are way too fragile: I’ve dropped bags containing just about every other piece of flashy electronic equipment I’ve ever owned (many, many), and nothing has ever broken under similar circumstances.
Also, maybe 20% of the books I’ve wanted to buy over the last month have been available for the kindle, and I’ve still bought some of those in dead-tree form because it’s been cheaper to get used versions even with shipping.
Also, the kindle does not preserve the original pagination, making it much less useful for academic stuff. And just try to take notes on the terrible, terrible keyboard. I dare you.