It was just two months ago that refurbished iPads first hit the Apple Store, bringing a $50 savings to all three Wi-Fi models. (Since then, Apple has added the 3G iPads to the refurb catalog as well, again at a $50 discount.)
If those price reductions weren't significant enough for you, how about this: Apple just lowered refurbished iPad prices even further.
Right now, and for a "special limited time" (Apple isn't saying how long, but my guess is until stock runs out), you can get a refurbished 16GB iPad for $429, a 32GB iPad for $499, and a 64GB iPad for $599. All three are the Wi-Fi-only versions; the 3G models are still priced just $50 below new.
Of course, as I noted in my original post, refurbs are literally as good as new. They come with a new battery, a new outer shell, a new white box, and a full one-year warranty. You also get all the same accessories (USB cable, power adapter), and even the same free shipping.
I've purchased several refurbished items from Apple. Complaints I have: zero. In my mind, there's actually no point in buying new gear; the refurb stuff is that good.
But what do you think? Is $429 still too steep a point of entry? Or is this just the price cut you've been waiting for to get an iPad under the tree? (Usually I'd say "tree or menorah," but tonight's the last night of Hanukkah, so that ship has sailed.)
One thing is certain: this price cut provides more evidence that new iPad models are just around the corner (perhaps only 100 days away, as reported earlier today by CNET's Joe Aimonetti). Think you'll wait and see what's new, or jump on the first-gen iPad while it's on sale?