Totally agree about wanting cross-platform functionality. For me this involves using Dropbox and working in Markdown/HTML almost exclusively. On that note, as a "power user" interested in using the iPad as a writing platform, you may want to check out the recently released Editorial app. It offers powerful automation capabilities not previously available in iOS text editors. For more (much more!), see this extensive review.
Notes Plus is great (as is its optional handwriting-to-text feature), but it wouldn't be my first choice for a primary writing/editing platform on the iPad. See my other reply in this thread for some thoughts on that.
I still use my BlackBerry Playbook every day and it's great for travel.
Unfortunately it was a flop in the marketplace, but is still a great tablet for many purposes. No Netflix, but Amazon Video works fine as does loading up your own ripped movies, which is what I usually do.
The Mini Keyboard with Trackpad is a pretty good Blue Tooth accessory, although many other mice and keyboards work too.
1. The point was vacation, not work travel. Your spouse and children may accompany you on you work travel, but you're working, and then you'd need to worry about what they will do while you are working.
2. No, I knew the OP was talking about downtime, not for the purpose of main attraction. That is why I gave the example of skiiing/snowboarding at night. We also do hike camps where the extra tech is too heavy, only the phones go for emergency use.
I think I'm pretty fair at vacation planning, but I won't try to either dazzle you or bore you with the details. There's still downtime and movies are a good way of filling it. I'm not saying that it ruins the vacation. And there's always Skymall on the plane. I'm talking about how competing LUXURIES, not necessities, compare. I'm sure we'd all get along just fine if the tablet market had never gotten past the Newton, but that's not really the point.
1. I bought a tablet for work travel. Not necessarily vacation, however having the ability to be connected easier and more frequently actually allow me to take more time off. I can work from the road now!
2. I don't think anyone here was suggesting that they were going to be glued to a device for the entirety of a vacation. That is just being silly.
Wife and kids not having the movie they want on vacation? You're a poor vacation planner. Have you ever tried just talking to each other to remain connected? Share new experiences (e.g. skiing, snowboarding at night for winter; surfing at night for summer), not watch a movie. So, you do things on vacation that you'd do at home; although not really relaxing, a staycation could be a lot cheaper and no issue with not having the movie they want.
I know this is about dumping the Nexus 7 and buyng an iPad, but how about leaving your devices all at home when you're on vacation? I've done that before, that is really relaxing, and no chance of anyone at work calling with an "emergency" like running out of toner (I don't handle that in our office, but often they think that since I am IT, that I know about "these things" - no, I don't know where the coffee filters are). What if you want to find something, have you lost your ability to ask?
"Admittedly, the mini is probably a decent size, but then would that really exist in a world without Android tablet "fragmentation"?"
Probably, the newton (apples first jump into tablets) was roughly 7 inches before android existed. It didn't live long, but they were already contemplating optimal size for a handheld computing device.