I bought the cheapest possible iPad 2 - 16GB, wifi, black, €479, plus the Smart Cover for €39. That's one heck of a lot of money, but hey, sometimes I'm allowed to indulge myself with something that's all want and no need.
Build quality of the device feels excellent - like all of Apple's current hardware, really. It feels sturdy, strong, and the metal casing looks like it can take a punch. Compared to the row of plastic Android tablets I saw in the store today, the iPad 2 is not just miles ahead, but lightyears ahead.
Note, though, that build quality has nothing to do with the quality of the components inside the device. You can't really judge those just by looking at and holding the device - my MacBook Air looks and feels just as sturdy as the iPad 2, but its SSD died within two weeks, and the left side of the display discoloured within a few months. Only time will tell how the iPad 2 holds up over the months.
Another thing you notice is just how fast and responsive the device really is. There's no lag, no waiting, no stuttering - everything is fluid and quick. I find this a far cry from iOS' somewhat sluggish performance on the iPhone. I guess it takes a dual-core processor to really make iOS fly.
I'll get back to you all with a more thorough article in the future. So far, I'm liking it, but since I only just got it, that's to be expected.