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Password on the lock screen

Yes, go to Settings\General, then Passcode Lock. You can turn on and then set the 4 digit passcode.
You can enable a PIN-code lock on the lockscreen from your Settings>General>Passcode Lock and turning it to "On". This is just a 4-number passcode that you can set and ask the iPad to reprompt after your iPad has been locked for a certain amount of time (or have it ask for the passcode after you lock your iPad every time if you want). If you're looking for an alpha-numeric password type application, I don't think an option like that is available. I don't know if there will be some sort of option when iOS 4 comes out, though.

This may seem like a not-quite secure way to secure your iPad, but there is also an option in these settings to have the iPad erase its data after 10 failed passcode attempts.

I hope this helps!
Remember there are apps that can create a password protected area on theiPad for sensitive information. I use Stash on mine to hide some personal papers so I can hand it around without worrying.
ip pass code

My iPad had an alphanumeric passcode as standard for some reason. But my wife's iPad has the 4 pin code feature you are referring to. The difference between the two ipads? Mine was from America, my wife's from Australia...

So obviously there is a way to change it, but I have no idea how. If anybody else does, please let me know, as my wife would like to use alphanumeric instead of the simple pin code.
There is a webpage where you run a config file and it gives you alphanumeric. I haven't done it, but I think there's a thread about it here somewhere.

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