Come to that, a typical netbook configuration of some atom-style processor and 2gb of memory is not that bad - that would have been a high-powered machine 8 or 10 years ago and with an SSD it's pretty nippy.
Invest in build quality and reliability, potentially at the cost of end-user repairability.
Thanks, but no thanks.
For me, a netbook replaced a $2000+ Fujitsu subnotebook which ran Linux. It was fast enough to run a web browser and most of the CPU intensive work (compiling etc) was done on a remote server anyway. The build quality was actually about the same, the main difference was the lack of an optical drive (which I didn't need anyway).
So "real" means a keyboard and software that fully handles common work files.
It was less than half the cost of the iPad, a great bargain by comparison.