Kindle noob here.
I actually bought my Kindle because of the Barnes & Noble Nook. I wanted the Nook and started doing my research on it before buying. I had 99% decided to get the Nook and really just wanted to be aware of any issues, especially considering it's a Rev.1 device. I was seduced by the co-branding with B&N and the WiFi access when inside a B&N store. The lower color touch screen was also intriguing. So I said, "Gimme gimme gimme!"
Then I talked to owners and read some reviews. Didn't like what I heard/read either. So I dug some more, and in digging I found everything was pointing to the superiority of the Kindle 2. I had already pre-ordered the Nook, not due to ship until February 1st, so I cancelled my order and bought the Kindle. Had it the very next day, along with a big dumb grin that I haven't been able to get rid of yet.
Right out of the box I was über-impressed! I love the old-fashioned screen saver pics as they give this new piece of technology an old-world feeling. Being a dedicated paper book guy, I found this a very classy touch. Another thing that impressed the heck out of me was that 4 minutes after opening the box from Amazon, my Kindle was registered and linked to my Amazon.com account. I didn't have to do a single thing. Either it came pre-registered or it linked my order to my account and simply did it's thing. Either way it made an impression. You only get one chance to make a first impression and my Kindle definitely made a good one on me!
The user interface is pretty self-explanatory, but for those questions I couldn't answer myself by diving right in, the User Guide is gold. Just like the Kindle's controls, the guide is easy to navigate and get answers from.
As I said, I've always been a reader and lover of printed books. I'm always reading 2 or 3 books at the same time so you can probably imagine the piles of books all over my house. And the constant inflow of new books, both paperback and hard cover, threatens to reach critical mass at any moment. Add to that the fact that going on vacation often means being an extra gym bag just to carry the books I'm reading plus those I plan to start next. Having my new Kindle means the paper meltdown is aborted and trips to the beach no longer require dedicating one arm to tote my books. Equally key is that I can buy new books from the comfort of my beach chair under the umbrella or download free books. Boo-yah! This Kindle is simply full of win.