While I agree that the iPad is an unnecessary gadget, it's still pretty cool.
As for what it does better/differently compared to a NetBook or Laptop is that it's instant on. No bootup, no shuutdown, just one click and it's on.
As for apps, I second the Netflix app, and for music Pandora is good and so is Accuradio. As a browser, Atomic has some advantages over Safari. More tabs and it doesn't reload the page every time you switch tabs. And not that's it's all that good now, the MLB At Bat app was worth the $15.