Well being a new member but with some experience using iPad. I will suggest that Cloudon has the best functionality in handling Microsoft office documents especially words and excels. It is almost like using native Microsoft words on computers. How do you use Cloudon. Register for online storage facilities like dropbox, box etc and get their iTunes apps on your iPad. Download Cloudon and register with Cloudon. Cloudon will in turn incorporate all your online storage facilities under itself i.e. you can open all your documents in Dropbox, box etc in Cloudon and you can then make use of its full functionality. I do this everyday. I have hardly used my laptop ever since .
Cloudon handles MS word, excel and PowerPoint far better than all the other common apps. Remember you have to open your online storage apps from the Cloudon to get this functionality
Cloudon is just simply amazing, the point is you should be connected to the net all the time to effectively use the app
You will find that the positive comments on writing documents or slide presentations all come from people who just work with plain text. As soon as you try to format a document (say with different levels of headers) or presentation for use on MS software or to modify Word or Powerpoint presentations you will run into serious incompatibilities. My Powerpoint presentations become a mess when read by Apple Apps. Also the question you raise about getting files in and out of iPad is another place where Apple's marketing decisions took priority over common sense. Apple Apps are unlike any programs on a desk computer. There is no such thing as "the memory" into which you file your stuff. Files live with the software that created them or, if it was created by an Apple App, with another Apple App -- presumably in order to make you buy all Apple software. Luckily there are some third party Apps that can help you work around these design limitations -- Goodreader and Dropbox are among the best. But its sad to have to work around the most basic functionality of software -- communicating among processes.
Try the iWork. for many reasons it's a very good app