Back when I was in high school, tablet PC's were just taking off. I remember using them in a tech class I had and when I finished, I played with the My Font Tool powertoy in Windows XP. It was awesome, except for the fact that the tablet was much slower than most laptops, the display looked terrible, the screen size was small, and the whole thing pretty much sucked. The handwriting recognition was cool, though.
Tablets for PC's have been around for a long time now, but this is the first time I have really played around with one that wasn't built into the computer. This allows you to use a pen and touch on any computer you want. At first, I thought it would be a nuisance since the screen and tablet aren't built together, but after a few hours of messing around, it really felt pretty natural. I'm still adjusting to varying angles, and it feels a little weird to write on the right half since it feels as if I'm going to come off the tablet. Still, every hour of extra usage makes it feel like it's more natural than before, and I'm sure that soon it will be natural to me.
Wacom unveiled it's Bamboo line for the consumer last year with the goal of allowing powerful multimedia and ease of use all in a reasonably priced device. Not only is it a pen-tablet, but it's also a gigantic touchpad (well, for the Pen+Touch model anyway). The software bundled makes it very intuitive, with preferences for right and left-handedness, the ability to control pressure and sensitivity, and even image editing software (Photoshop Elements). There are 4 buttons adjacent to the pad allowing for even more control. The pen is powered wirelessly from the pad so no batteries are needed. The Bamboo is even scaled to "widescreen" for very simple navigation.
The Bamboo must be the simplest device to use because all that's needed is the software install and a simple plug in of a USB cable. You can pretty much figure out the rest from there. With 1024 different pressure levels, multitouch (for you iPhone fans), and a pretty high resolution, the Bamboo is powerful enough for all but the graphics professional. If you've got a hundred bucks to spend and want to try out a new input device, you can't go wrong with the Bamboo. And you can still make your own font with the My Font Tool powertoy (which still works with Windows 7 64-bit).