Hi, canfish, welcome to MobileRead!
Buying the iLiad might be a good move, but there are others that might be just as good or better. Since you're asking about the iLiad, I'm assuming you're interested in e-ink, so I'll just note that there are a number of well-respected non-e-ink devices if you're interested in those.
Where are you located? If it's in the U.S. for example, then you have the Sony Reader as an option too, but that one gets complicated if you live outside the U.S.
There are also a couple of new e-ink devices reportedly coming out next month, Bookeen's Gen3 and Amazon's Kindle, the Bookeen should be available internationally, but we haven't heard anything about the Kindle.
There's also the question of which book formats you prefer to deal with, that may have some bearing on your decision too.
I'd suggest you browse the forums, particularly the "Which One Should I Buy
" forum (which will likely cover a lot of your questions right off) and keep asking questions 'till you get a good feel for which way you want to go.