Mary - I agree that e-mail can be checked on a desktop/laptop/netbook at home, as for at work it all depends on what the employer will allow you to access. I also agree that typing on a real keyboard imo is better than a virtual keyboard that is smaller and I am not a touch typist. The idea of having a smaller device that you can quickly pull out of your pocket or bag to check your e-mail or social network is pretty handy. Having one e-mail client that can focus all your different e-mail ids is also very convenient instead of logging into each, one at a time. Yes, some people have more than one e-mail id.
I am retired and I am a bit of a gadget junky. Over the last couple of years I have acquired several dedicated e-readers as well as Android tablets. Several have been a disappointment either due to performance (under powered) or o/s level such as Android 1.5. I am looking forward to the $199 PB at being the device that meets all my expectations if not exceeds them.
I have found that the Android PDF reader "Repligo" does an excellent job of reading a PDF document that was designed for a large screen on a smaller screen. It has a "Text Reflow" option that resizes the text to a readable size and wraps around the text. It's not perfect but it is better than zooming into a page to resize the text and then panning the screen to view the page. This is available on Android. I have seen several demo's on youtube concerning Android apps running on the PB and I am looking forward to FW 2.0 in Feb to see if this will resolve the lack of e-reader apps.
Bluebox app (Dropbox client) is a great way of moving data across several platforms without having to do any sneeker-net or cabling connections.
Unfortunately I have had little time to play with the PB as it has been Christmas wrapped for Dec 25th.