Thanks so much for your replies & advice, it has been very, very helpful.
I think I'm going to go with a pad or pad-like device such as the Nexus, Galaxy or so forth.
I am really into touching and trying things before I buy them, that's part of the reason I picked the Sony originally - I could try it out ahead of time.
I'm going to start visiting stores and see what I find.
Thanks again for all your help!