The Ipad and other devices that will undoubtedly appear are probably the best shot they've got. It's not about paying it's about psychology and transaction costs that are too high and cumbersome.
Apple already proved with the Ipod/itunes combination that consumers are willing to pay for music even though the recording industry said they weren't. The same is probably true of print - it's simply a question of delivering a great user experience, no hassles, and low transaction costs.
"[I]t's simply a question of delivering a great user experience, no hassles, and low transaction costs."
Absolutely. Looking at the video in the above link, it appears they will nail "great user experience" (obviously I won't know for sure until the iPad is in my hands, but those Space, Human Body and Travel app/books look slick).
Apple seems to have the "no hassles"/"low transaction costs" angle covered for the consumer.