Ebook readers have extremely high contrast/readability and are extremely energy-efficient, being able to display several thousand pages of material without needing to recharge. eBooks are a narrow product, but they have their own ways in which PMPs cannot compete.
The Kindle has many flaws, but it does allow you to read a few different non-DRM formats.
A cheap casioppeia allows me to read ebooks around 2001.
Kindles can read a variety of non-proprietary, non-DRM'ed formats. They read TXT, HTML, JPEG, and non-DRM Mobi files directly.
A revolutionary portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, newspapers, magazines and blogs to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.