I use both the Kindle Keyboard, the Kindle Fire and the iPad (1) for reading.
The Kindle keyboard (and any other eInk reader) rocks when you have good light (or at least a lamp), the Kindle Fire and the iPad are very helpful if I want to read at night without keeping my wife awake.
The advantage of the iPad is the screen size (and the availability of 2-column-text), while the advantage of the Kindles is the portability.
Looking at the reasons cited by the original poster, I would suggest to look at the Kindle Keyboard with a good (preferably lighted) cover.
I do not own the "basic" Kindle, but the Paperwhite I received struck me as very similar to the ones I have some colleagues seen use, as far as screen size/weight/feel was concerned.
Last edited by Andy_T; 01-24-2013 at 10:50 AM.