I am considering purchasing a tablet, however, I'd like to solicit opinions of those who have any of the tablets currently on the market (iPad, iPad mini, Nook, Kindle Fire, etc., etc.). I am looking for something versatile (who knows, perhaps most are these days; not overly familiar with any of them) for reading e-books, web surfing, email, streaming movies, listening to music, etc. I haven't narrowed down a price range, but my top end of the range would probably be about $500, which from what I can tell would get me into an iPad, 16 GB, wi-fi model. Preferably, I'd like to spend much less than that, but am open to it if the iPad's are that much better than everything else (which as a lot of things, may or may not be in the eye of the beholder). I think I'm leaning towards one of the larger screens, 8"+, but not wed to that idea either, if there are good considerations, especially quality, in going down to a 7" screen.
Anyway, and opinions, recommendations, or cautions, would be greatly appreciated.