I think that's a great point, NatCh... we know that Sony is likely to sell well to the geek/tech/early adopter groups. What we have all been waiting for is an e-reader that can appeal to the masses. Sony in approaching that point, and we are waiting eagerly to see if it makes it or not.
Sure, one can argue that the price is high and book selection is somewhat limited at the Connect store, but the price is still comparable to other electronics gadgets, and there are a lot of books to choose from at the online store. You may not find every book you want to read at the store, but certainly you can find plenty of books at the store that you want to read.
The market dynamics are definitely a lot different if you are selling to the general book reading public. And with it, there are different financial incentives for device makers and publishers. I think the basic Sony Reader product is good enough to support that. It has solid hardware and a great screen. By no means is it perfect, or fitted to every kind of reading, but it's a great product and we might just see that significant level of popular interest in an e-book device for the first time. It's an exciting time!
Even more exciting is the knowledge that this is only the first toe in the ocean. More e-ink readers are coming, UMPC LCD screens will be getting better, smart phones are being adopted more and more, and new display technologies will pop up over time. We've been at the brink of something special in the e-book world for a long time. It's about time we get over the hump!