I like to consider myself someone who is in between the whole Apple vs anti-Apple mindset but this latest "launch" has me really questioning the motives of Americans. To see the crazed hype surrounding the iPad 2 when considering the quality of the device vs. recent and upcoming competition is really baffling. I know a lot of people get excited about the whole waiting in line thing and to see Apple in the news claiming their demand is greater than supply etc. etc. That's fine, you're passionate about Apple and like to see them succeed. Whether or not this hype is actual reality or just fabricated marketing to hypnotize people into creating a need and/or demand is a completely different story though. Apple has done it in the past and they clearly did it this time but I see a big difference here in the attention it has gathered. When we're talking about phones that are subsidized by a carrier it drops the cost of a device from about $600 down to $200ish. $200 is manageable for most Americans and can sustain the "hype" with a somewhat healthy financial impact. Tablets, on the other hand, are a completely different story. These aren't subsidized by carriers and consumers are forced to pay a minimum of $500 cash to feed their need. That's a lot of money for the majority of people. So much money that you would normally dismiss the idea completely due to the financial impact it would have on your budget. Granted, a lot of people do actually make the money to sustain that sort of spending and that's great for them. Personally, I'm a single guy with no kids or debt and pull in a good salary so I can afford to buy expensive toys but even I do so within a restrictive allowance. Is that everyone else's situation though? All these millions of people who are lining up at stores to drop hundreds of dollars on a device all have that cash to throw down like that? Where am I going with all this? Well, I do consider the marketing gimmicks of Apple to promote both good and bad things. In this particular situation the hype was created around something that is VERY expensive and no one really NEEDS. To go to walmart and see people fighting over iPads when they don't even have the money to properly clothe themselves has me questioning if this is actually a positive thing. How did all these people pay for this? Surely people can make their own financial decisions but what is this "hype" actually adding up to. Did Apple hypnotize people people who can hardly pay their bills into feeling the need to buy one of these devices everyone wants so they whipped out their credit card? It's just something I'm curious about... there really is no way to measure the amount of debt iPad sales accrued but I was just curious to see the results from those from macrumors who are willing to contribute to a little survey.