Now that my iPad mini is in a since folio case (as of yesterday) ($10 shipped, Kay's case from amazon) my relationship to it has changed, strangely. Previously, I had it in one of those back cover cases, but I didn't true feel comfortable with that because the screen was out all the time, so I didn't want to take it out of the house in my bag, etc. But with a folio case, it is different. It seems even more comfortable to hold. I can even grip it by the cover of the case. It is still super light, too. I looks amazing like a Kindle e-book reader inside this case.
I spent a lot of time yesterday using my iPad 3 and mini (and my GN7). Yes, the retina screen is still second to nothing, but that thing is heavy (and why is this all of a sudden an issue for me?????) in comparison to the mini. I first noticed this with the Google Nexus 7 and while this is too an excellent tablet (underpriced as it is -- I suggest everyone get one of these just for an extra tablet around), I just strongly prefer a 4:3 screen. Combine that with the super rich eco-system that comes with Apple stuff and it is simply a compelling experience.
And yes, whenever the retina version of the mini comes out, I will be buying it. I don't think I will ever buy another 9.7 inch iPad!