The Nook Tablet costs $250. It has a 7" screen, 16 GB of internal storage and a micro SD slot that can handle cards up to 32GB. It has 1 GB of RAM and a 1 GHz dual-core processor. It's running Barnes & Noble's own flavor of Android. I know for the Nook Color it will automatically boot off of the SD card if you install Cyanogen or some such on it. That's a simple enough "rooting" method that i think even i can handle it. Unfortunately there's a rumor that the may have added a signed bootloader to the Nook Tablet to prevent that =/
The Transformer Prime is $500 for the 32 GB version and $600 for the 64 GB version. You can also get an optional dock for $150 that contains and extra battery, a keyboard, and some USB ports. It has a 10" screen, 1 GB RAM, and a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. The last i heard it's going to be running Honeycomb at launch, but Asus has promised to update it to Ice Cream Sandwich.
So it's pretty much a contest between "cheap and decent" and "expensive and kick-ass." Normally i like to space my purchases out and go with expensive and kick-ass and try to make it last awhile, but in this case the choice is made all the more difficult because i also need to get a new phone. (Old one is completely out of space for apps, and it's developed a weird rebooting problem whenever i try to use 3G.)
And then B&N did a brilliant bit of PR. They told Microsoft to go to hell. Specifically, it seems that they broke a NDA to publicize the patents that Microsoft is using to shake down developers of Android devices. They then followed it up by doing what no one else has been doing, something which most geeks aware of the whole patent thing have been wondering about. They filed a massive list of all the prior art that seems to invalidate the patents Microsoft is using.
There are two big companies that have legal practices that i don't like but that i'm not strong-willed enough to do without, Microsoft and Amazon, and now Barnes & Noble seems to be standing up to both of them :)
I may have to go with Barnes & Noble, at least immediately, though whether i get the Color or Tablet may depend on how the rumors about rooting it work out. Or course i can then always wait until the Transformer Prime goes on sale and then give the Barnes & Noble one to shelleycat ;)