I can't offer opinions on the Kindle Fire, but I do have a Nook Color and an e-ink Nook. I bought an iPad recently, and if I had had the iPad first, I wouldn't have bought the Nooks. I love the Nooks, but the iPad blows them away.
If you don't HAVE to have an iPad 2, check the refurbished first generation iPads in the Apple store online. That's what I bought, and I am completely happy with it.