I went and checked one out last weekend. The looks are top notch, but the interface is inconsistent and s-l-o-w. Its either incredibly underpowered or this thing was literally pushed out the door 6 months too early. I advise you to go to a B&N and check one out before you decide. it was at the top of my list before and now its out of the running.
The Kindle is no wonder of modern interface design either but it does seem about twice as fast as the Nook and has a pretty straightforward navigational system.
I'm a college student and the majority of my reading is through articles posted online (to Blackboard if you're familiar). So my e-reader wouldn't solely be for the common purpose of always purchasing and reading published books (although clearly I would be doing that as well). Right now it looks like the Kindle would be my choice over the nook because it has better PDF reading capabilities- as well as word documents. Also I want to be able to either hook it up and load the readings through my PC or download them on the reader itself- which would only be possible through the Kindle because the Nook has no browser (even though it has Wifi). However I do like that the Nook is on android and grants the option of using GoogleBooks, especially those that are free.
Could someone make sure I'm evaluating this correctly and that for my purposes, the Kindle is probably my best bet?