When I got my kindle 2 last March, I started reading every day at lunchtime in the lobby of my building. Since I was pretty much in the direct line of travel for everyone I work with, there was a lot of curiosity and interest about the device. I got a bit tired of explaining the features of the device and showing them the e-ink screen, but I was glad if it created interest. One coworker got a kindle for his birthday recently and another was asking about one because he wanted to get it for his wife for Christmas.
Of course, they all taunted me when the DX came out and when the Nook was announced as if my device was suddenly inferior, outdated, or useless. Of course, I didn't have the heart to tell them I got a DX also for my technical reading
Fortunately, I never heard any questions as "out-there" as the ones in the OP.