I read about the Chrome laptop coming out soon and Google may be offering a student option which gets you the laptop plus internet access for $20 a month. That is a price I can afford and it would be perfect for me when I go back to school this fall. I'm looking forward to that option.
I'd been considering buying a new PC with Win/7, but I might decide to get a Chromebook and use my PC for printing and local storage. It depends on how convenient (and costly) it is to run in the cloud.
For me, the Chromebook looks like a better option than an iPad. My main uses will be email, writing (document editing), Facebook, Twitter, surfing for information and reading books. I hope Amazon will soon offer a Kindle reader for the cloud.