To follow up on my earlier post...
The winner is... Archos 5IT.
The Archos 5IT end up fitting the bill perfectly. I bought in March thinking that I would need to return it and get an IPAD when it comes out. I might have bought the IPAD first if it was available but...
Archos device is pretty cool. Web page loading is similar to the IPAD. It does requires a bit of work to get it going. For example I recently tried the "market4archos" APK (a program) that enabled it to become a "true" Android 1.6 device.. well worth the time to install it. I discovered that Google program selection in their "market" is very good.
The Archos 5IT fits nicely in my pocket (SSD model) and is great for theses "on the fly" question that can be answered in seconds using the web. The 5 inch (4.8) is smaller than the IPAD but works pretty good at the 800x480 resolution. The ereader applications "aldiko" and now the "Kindle reader" are great and comfortable. Battery life is good with about 4 hours of intensive usage and can be left in "sleep" mode for two days without any issue. Multitasking is possible on the Archos, no need to close the browser to check an e-mail however the performance do suffer after 3-4 applications are used simultaneously. The Archos 5IT SSD have a microSD card and a physical add on allows one USB port that can be used with a memory key, a mouse or a keyboard!
I like the capacitative screen of the IPAD, it also have a better accelerometer. The IPAD bigger screen is great but in the end I'm not sure I would have been able to live with ITunes. With ITunes, there is no "moving files" concept... only "synching" which for me is a deal breaker.
Conclusion... the IPAD would have fit the bill at 75% (which is not bad at all) but the Archos fit the bill at 90% !