I bought my wife a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I’m impressed and she loves it (and the price isn’t bad either).
I’ve read a lot of hype that says that Amazon is pushing the device to make more sales, but I really believe that is a pure content device. It’s a great reader, beautiful HD player and runs all the Android apps once you get out of the Amazon App store.
In contrast to most critics I actually prefer the size of the Fire to the iPad and I don’t really have any issues with the Silk web browser. My wife carries it with her everywhere- It’s the perfect purse device. She has a Nook e-reader before and we’ve installed the Nook App so she has her previously purchased Barnes and Noble’s e-books on her Amazon Kindle Fire.
You really have to have an Amazon prime membership to get the most out of the Fire. With the a Prime membership you can stream videos to it and participate in the Kindle lending library.