Still, among all the passionate opinion for and against the iPad, plus the glowing reviews, lists of apps and countless tweets, thereâ€™s this sober business assessment from the Financial Times of the device:
At least 200,000 US residents will get their hands on Appleâ€™s new iPad on Saturday, convinced that, without ever having held one, the mouseless computer is right for them.
Spurred in part by iPad anticipation, shareholder enthusiasm has more than doubled Appleâ€™s market capitalisation in the past year, driving it past Google and Walmart. At $214bn, Apple is worth more than every US company but ExxonMobile and Microsoft.
Apple is trading at 23 times its profit from the past 12 months, which does not include iPad sales â€“ higher than most companies, certainly, but well below Googleâ€™s price-to-earnings ratio of 28.
All but six of the 32 analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call rate Apple â€œbuyâ€ or â€œstrong buyâ€ and many have the stock as their top pick in technology, though they differ on how well the iPad will fare.
Full story at FT.com: Investors await iPadâ€™s cliffhanger launch
I guess a major key to long-term success for Apple, and all those predictions on how many units Apple will shift in the coming year or two, is how quickly the iPad scoots out of the trough of disillusionment â€“ inevitably, thatâ€™s where it will end up at some point post launch â€“ and onto the slope of enlightenment.