Apple seems to also view this as an accessory. What this needed to be was a computer. A new, better, more relevant computer, but a computer. That Apple expects people to sync this to another computer is either profoundly short sighted, or just stupid. Neither of which feels like the Apple I know. By positioning the iPad as peripheral, Apple took what should have been a really cheap, amazing computer in a world of terrible cheap computers, and instead positioned it as a really expensive toy.
Justin Spohn has written the best analysis of the iPad yet.
Aside from the deeply flawed introduction, I haven't heard a single legitimate complaint about the device that can't be solved in software. Even Justin's concern about iPad as peripheral, which I share, can be solved by moving the hub of the digital lifestyle into the cloud.