"Were you looking at a Glo or an Aura?..."
I was looking at all the Kobo offerings. Sunlight and incandescent lighting both have very high IR content so any IR contribution from the lighting would be irrelevant. It's just a case of using the cheapest components that they think they can get away with.
As far as the buttons go. I have Sony 350, 650 and T1 readers. I just tap to bring up a word in the dictionaries. But I hold the reader in one hand when I'm reading (usually my left) and the page forward and back under under my thumb. Without the buttons, turning the page requires both hands. My hands are neither large or agile enough to be able to swipe the screen when I hold the reader comfortably. But this topic has been done to death in other discussions and I am just a speedbump on the road to Nirvana (or wherever). Don't wireless either, at least not in a reader.
My ideal reader would be a Sony 650 with PRS+ software and the Aura screen. I am doomed to disappointment.