Sweet! I really think you are making a great decision! Hope the kiddo enjoys the awesomeness!
I'm late to the party but I'll pitch in with a bit of experience.
When the anklesnapper was younger, I bought him a LeapPad. It was never touched, and now, never will be. Last year we bought him an iPod touch. He already had a DSi, which quickly became obsolete. He carries the iPod everywhere, so this year he's getting an iPad mini.
The iPad 1 is a great introduction to iOS and at that price, I don't think you can go wrong.
Sent from my iPad using iPF
Second what Kevin reports. My 4yo has a Vtech Vreader. $75 system and $20 games(x5 later) and he never touches it. Ever. Even if I had younger kids coming up, I wouldn't sink money into a cartridge system again. They have a certain age range they are good for and then you have a paper weight! My oldest went from a Leapster---to a Gameboy Advance---to a DS as he got older. I spent probably over $1000 total buying systems and games for those specific systems. An iPad can be from ages infant to old guy. They can be a book reader and a game system and a video watcher and a music player.
Hands down, iPad wins for both money and adjustability.
I realize the decisions been made but I thought I'd put in my 2 cents for perspective. I run a small business on an iPad 1st gen as of a few months ago. I decided to upgrade to a 2 to be able to "multitask" switch between apps a little faster. That's it. Otherwise worked great.
I did not win the "coolest neighbor with the most expensive and latest gadget of the month award". Oh well, it did the trick.
Thanks for the continued input. I will be purchasing the Ipad over the weekend and will start getting it ready for Christmas. Will have to overcome a learning curve. Want to upgrade to iOs5 and add some apps for my 2yr old.