I have a Sony PRS-700 bookreader. This is currently the top of the crop, with a backlight and touch screen, which makes things a bit glary, but you learn to live with it. Costco just got in a cheap ebook, which seems to have a nice screen.
These readers support epub, which is an open standard. The nasty-bugger Kindle does not support open standards, and you are forced to buy books from them. What I have discovered is that I can now check out books from the Toronto Library. I don't have to steal them anymore!
You need to have your old crappy xp machine around, since all this drm crap is Windows. You run Adobe digital editions to transfer the borrowed books to the sony. You have a lending period of 21 days, and you can return early, but you get a limit of 10 books!
The more people do this, the more electronic versions of books they buy!