Thanks to all the excellent advice on this forum I got the iPad 2. Managed to get it 4.3.3 so have jail broken it (otherwise wouldn't touch it with a bargepole) and it is a FANTASTIC device. Very happy indeed with this beauty.
The lack of Flash is a REAL failure. I knew about it going in so I made the choice knowingly but I obviously underestimated how often it is required (flash browser options are mediocre at best and largely a waste of time). Despite loving the iPad and the iPhone I am beginning to dislike apple more and more everyday for ruining an otherwise incredible product. It is almost totally unacceptable that one should charge so much for hardware and then put such a huge limitation on it for whatever reason (it's obvious what the reasons are but as this will be hotly debated by apple fans I won't even go there because it's irrelevant as we should have the choice). All due respect to Steve jobs for what he has done, and I hope all is well with him, but I am hoping tim cook will put things right.
Much as I love this device, am overall happy I bought it, and will not give it back (only just!!), I hesitate before recommending it to anybody and all I can say is I am counting down the days (sadly though it's more likely to be years) that android have anything half decent to offer as an alternative. Apple won me over this time, but only by a whisker.