Even though you haven't had a chance to hold an iPad, you can view these "guided tour" videos on the Apple website. This way, when you go to the Apple store, you'll be fully equipped to test the iPad so that you can determine if you should buy this device.
You're probably already familiar with the "pinch-to-zoom" feature that's found on the iPod touch and iPhone. Additional multi-touch gestures make navigation very easy on the iPad. Well, I doubt I'll buy one this year, but maybe I'll get an iPad through a drawing or on Christmas.