I wanted to add - lack of Flash won't free you from ads. That's Apple marketing talk and it's simply not true.
I'm looking at this very site on my iPad and there are ad banners across the page and on the right side of the forum index page. Flash obviously isn't running. Yet I open that same page on my laptop running Firefox with the adblock plus add-on and I don't see a single add... and my browser still supports Flash.
Before Apple acquired Quattro (a mobile advertising company) they were looking to purchase AdMob (which Google snatched from them,) to venture into the realm (and revenue stream) of mobile advertising. They also currently have a program in place called iAd to help developers target mobile users in their ads. Advertising will prevail no matter what platform you're on. It's just that it may not be in Adobe Flash.
Reading news sites with embedded videos you will just not see the videos, instead there will be a blank white area. This happens at least a dozen times each day for me, and is annoying as hell.
Various videos and links sent to you from friends will not work because of a lack of flash
I just received another email from apple on The new shuffle and all of the photos had little question marks.
Does apple not realize we may open email on our ipads.
No Flash isn't a deal-killer, but it's out there. It depends on where you go on the Internet, i guess. Many of the video sites out there use it exclusively. A lotbof restaurants, car dealers, and such build entire websites in flash.
Just remember that this is a mobile device - probably the best mobile device out for web surfing, but you don't have the "entire Internet" in your hands yet. Any content that requires a plugin other than maybe QuickTime will not work. No java either.