I get questions about the Nook, sometimes as compared to the Kindle Fire.
The Nook is restricted as to what it can do but there are fixes. Whereas the Kindle Fire does not make it easy to expand capabilities to a full tablet, the Nook puts some bigger hurdles in your way. You may not access Kindle books. It will require rooting (technical) to install most apps. However, if someone gave you a Nook, and you would like more tablet features, you may still be able to stay with it and overcome restrictions. Also, the Nook has help people in their stores.
Here is the fix:
Simple and cheap.
Now, I have not tested the fixes. But what I have done is to similarly convert an EEEPC 7" tablet. Most apps work: Google Books and OpenLibrary and Overdrive (your local library). The Kindle app did not work. Otherwise it was surprisingly easy to expand tablet capabilities. The old EEEPC is still old: an hour of battery life and weak WiFi---you need a strong signal. Yet it is far more useful than it ever was before, and mostly free of restrictions.
Click here for the EEEPC fix:
It should be noted that actions to limit our access to internet, especially to serve the (marketing) interests of the provider of our equipment, are abhorrent and a looming threat to free speech.
For example, even the Kindle Fire, which is fairly open, cannot download apps (apks) from the main Android site, Android Market---however, they are generally available elsewhere. The Nook is more limiting.
And the development of the above fixes counteracts such measures.
So, then, as a resident commented, IF we had unfettered access to internet, do we need anything else for a computer? Well the EEEPC has a keyboard. We could benefit with: a camera and bluetooth (I use an adapter for the latter). And why not GPS? Maybe an exteral mic.
If you buy new, for now, buy a Kindle. Your next tablet may be something else altogether, hopefully to give you free unfettered access to media without even making it difficult.
These devices are in their infancy. Better, and broader, will be coming, and soon.
Here is one (click).
And for the fearless, (click for it) transform the $99 Nook Touch into a full tablet.