I've always purchased refurbished equipment when trying to save money (and I've always had great success) and I've always heard that you can't tell a refurb iPad from a new one... Well, now that I've had the opportunity to see what the refurbs are like (on my 2nd refurb now), I must disagree with those that say you can't tell it from new. In my experience, the refurb units I've received all have some sort of minor issues. The first had intermittent bluetooth issues. The second had a small screen blemish. It's almost as if they put any iPad with a small defect in the "refurb" pile (no idea if there is any truth to that though).
My point is that if you are considering a refurb iPad, you may want to think twice... While they look identical on the outside, it seems that you are much more prone to receive an iPad with small issues if you buy a refurb... Sure, you can take it back and exchange it for another refurb (like I did), but that becomes a real hassle, especially when you lose the $35 screen protector that you just installed perfectly, only to find a small issue that requires you to exchange it! Plus, like I've found, there is a chance of getting one with an even bigger issue!
Maybe I just had extremely bad luck and it was just a coincidence that I got two refurbs in a row that had issues, but just figured I'd pass on my experience...
EDIT - C'mon - nobody has any experiences with Apple refurbished products? I'd love to hear if others had issues with their refurb units as well!