I share your distress. The legions waiting with great expectation for the next particle of snot to drop from Jobs' nostril; the cult of personality; the value of style over substance, all of these are woefully irrational.
I recently watched, and waited, and had my own time wasted, by two grown men with iPhones, who had to use an "app" to exchange contact information. At each point in the process, which was anything but smooth, they would utter "This is so cool!!" Ten minutes later (I do not exaggerate) they were able to cause their phones to collide and verify that the information had been transferred (hence the name of the app, "bump"). It took me 5 seconds to produce a business card and hand it to one of them---and brand myself as a hopeless antiquarian and suspected Luddite.
Honnestly I have a lot of respect for apple but there, I believe that they are not realistic. Personally I don't see why I would need an Ipad as this device will not throw away my cell phone nor my laptop so just another device to bring with me or just a gadget for home not worth to have regarding the desastrous impact such devices have on environment. I don't understand why we should talk about this thing whihc is not solving a user issue but just creating an useless need. I strongly hope this device will not have any success and will retunr in the darkness with all the others in the same vein. We have to start having a responsible attitude regarding environment and our real need in term of technology and stop thinking with a lot of egoism in killing the future of our kids!!
You are of course aware of the "hype curve". This is standard marketing and happens everywhere. Usually the hype starts years before a real product appears. In Apple's case and their heavy secrecy, the hype starts much closer to the real product. Since "hype happens", in this case it won't last long and won't have as much of a "disappointment factor", i.e, the drop in the curve after the hype. There will already be a product!
As you know, writers need to fill column inches and get hits, so gushing about the iPad is a natural response to the criteria by which they are measured. Cheer up! If not for the iPad, they would be writing about Kim Kardashian.