Great conversation! I’m inclined towards seeing the half-full view (consumtion -> poaching/production), in large part because people will use Safari to browse, and that’ll reward standards-compliant websites. (Dan Cohen rightly points out that a number of digital-humanities sites rely on Flash, but Omeka’s framework doesn’t, I think Hypercities eschews it, etc.)
And through a browser (and a number of apps), people can create, or poach, or critique. I’m anticipating being a user of one way the iPad interacts with education: sitting somewhere with a bunch of PDFs and annotating. Then there is blogging and microblogging as well as interacting with websites such as the Bracero Archive.
It’s a highly imperfect device, but it’s still usable for all sorts of creative activities as well as consumption.