I received mine in mid-December, and I love it. My wife later bought an iPad. The Archos screen is no-where near as good as the iPad.
The iPad runs well out of the box. The Archos took a lot of upgrading and tweaking to become reliable and stable.
Even with access to the entire Android market, the iPad has much better (quality & variety) applications.
The Archos is lighter than the iPad, and not quite the same build quality - but I'm satisfied with the quality.
The Archos plays .avi, .mkv, .m4v, .flv, .mov with no problems so far. No Netflix application yet. Haven't tried movie files on the iPad, because Netflix is available and very satisfactory.
I wanted the Archos because I kind of wanted a technical challenge; which it was, and I wanted the ability to use other devices with it. My wife wanted the iPad for ease of use and applications, plus it's very easy for our 3-year old to use it for his pre-school applications. I paid $344 for the 16GB version with overnite shipping; I feel that I have received my money's worth!