Leave it to the blogosphere to bash a device before its even been announced but that is what's happening to the poor Amazon Kindle e-book reader.
Jeremy Toeman asks "Is the market today "in crisis" when it comes to books?" and then supplies the answer "No". I would disagree in that I personally would do anything to have my library of computer books with me both at work and at home but carrying three bookshelves isn't plausible. I don't think I'm a niche in this either. To me Jeremy saying there is no crisis here sounds a lot like the people who asked "why would I want to carry all my music around with me?" when the iPod first arrived.
Jeremy does go on to make some decent points about e-book readers but since his post was contingent on there being no great advantage to the e-book reader the remaining points fall pretty flat for me.
I found myself agreeing with Rex Hammock who says the iPod Touch is a much better model for an e-book reader but I'm not sure that automatically makes the Kindle a bad product. The iPhone/iPod Touch model is revolutionary and its going to put almost any other handheld device to shame as far as things like navigation are concerned. But that's no reason to necessarily dismiss a product that has other advantages (Such as allowing you to wirelessly purchase e-books from anywhere and have access to them that instant).
Plus, my understanding is that the Kindle does a good job of replicating paper with its screen and that shouldn't be overlooked. Whether you realize it or not looking at a computer screen is hard on the eyes and a decent e-paper solution is worth a lot in the battle to replace the printed book.
All that said, I haven't quite formed an opinion on the kindle yet. There are certainly points that I like (mostly the wireless download) and things I don't (high price, appearance) but it really is too early to tell. If I had to guess right now I'd bet against it but I also would have bet against the original Palm Pilot and look how that turned out.
One last note, the thing looks really ugly which doesn't help. I can't help but think Amazon would have been better off had they made something that looked a little more like this.