I sold my old Surface RT and preordered the Surface 2. This is a great little machine. Critics can't do it justice because they are out of touch with consumers who desire simplification in their multi-device lives, while tech critics want more and more devices because they're gadget geeks. The funniest and stupidest reviews are those that insist the Surface has an identity problem--uh, no, all of us who like it know what it is. It's a hybrid that fulfills multiple roles for us just fine. More like, I'm perplexed why a lot of so-called professional reviewers just don't "get it."
There are some caveats for people who need browser add-ons like Java or Silverlight, and people who need macros in their Office documents, but for most people, the Surface with Windows RT will fulfill average usage: web browsing, word processing in Word or tabular data management in Excel and presentations with Powerpoint, email in Outlook (you can import Gmail), light app games. If you play two dozen specific app games from iOS/Android, look elsewhere. The Surface 2 tablet isn't for pure entertainment, though it can handle that fine (watching video, reading ebooks, etc.). Personally I wouldn't recommend a WinRT device unless you already have another "main" computing device like desktop/laptop, but plenty of people have gotten rid of their combo laptop and iPad/Kindle/whatever to use just a Surface.
Keyboard is kind of necessary to get the most out of it, but if you don't want to pay that much for the matching second gen one, you can use your own bluetooth kb or buy used/refurb first gen.