You see, over the years, I've dabbled with a truly ridiculous number of ebook reader-analogues, trying to find the ideal mix of convenience, portability and readability. My favorite devices, before the Kindle, was a Newton 2000, or a Sony Clie NX70. Both of them were small, had terribly long battery life, and had easy-to-use interfaces in either landscape or portrait mode. But they were imperfect. The two major shortcomings were the readability of the screens (low-contrast for the Newton, low-contrast and overbright for the Clie), and the lack of easy access to legitimate content.
I very quickly grew tired of Project Gutenberg public-domain etexts and promotional ebooks. I wanted all of the books that I could buy at my local bookstore, in ebook form, and I didn't want to have to delve into the morally, legally, and ethically dubious world of ebook piracy just to get books I'd be more than happy to pay a fair price for.
Fair price. That's the rub. The Kindle, at first, seemed like an ideal product: it solved all of the readability problems of other devices with its gorgeous eInk screen, and it finally made available a huge catalog of in-print books for fair prices. Let's be clear, here: ebooks are not physical books. They are un-resellable, they are limited to use by an eventually-obsolete device, and they are hampered with DRM. I don't mind any of that, as long as the price is commensurate.
So, when the Kindle store was first introduced, the prices were a breath of fresh air: finally some reality in ebook pricing. In-print hardbacks were never more than $10.00. Paperbacks were deeply discounted from list price (30 to 60 percent or so). But since I've bought my Kindle, I've been dismayed to see the price rise steadily. Current hardbacks probably average $16 to $21 dollars, often more than the price Amazon sells the physical copy for. Paperbacks, the majority of books I'm interested in buying, have seen an even more extreme and nonsensical increase in price: the Kindle price is almost always more than the physical list price. Let me repeat that: MORE than the list price.
I don't know who to blame. Equally vociferous commenters blame greedy book publishers or Amazon's unrealistic profit-sharing. I don't give a damn. Until Kindle ebook prices come down, way down, there is no way in hell I'm going to buy another Kindle. No matter how big the screen is.