I bought my son a 22" Touchsmart PC for this second birthday.
Me doing nothing other than that, and and putting links to www.starfall.com on the desktop, he is now the best five year old reader in all six kindergarten classes.
He also knows all the planets. In order. How to spell them. Their astrological symbols. How many moons they each have. The names of the moons. And the names of about twenty stars in order of the their size.
Oh yeah, he's also autistic.
He learns at such an advanced rate he would require an extremely intelligent adult by his side every waking second of his day to keep up.
Since this is not possible, he looks for other ways to learn.
When I showed him the iPad, he was in love. He can type phrases on the keyboard, play educational (and fun) videos and music, play with "Solar Walk", an app which models the solar system, which is exactly what his young brain wants.
Since I am a good parent, I also use the iPad to teach him about manners, sharing with others, how to deal with disapointment, taking turns, and so on.
Do we use the iPad sometimes as the easy way out?
Sure we do. For instance, we actually just went out, as a family, to a restaurant, and ate an entire dinner without having to leave early apologizing to the manager, for the first time in five years.
You have no idea whatsoever what you give up when you become a parent, and by god, if you can find something which is both educational and entertaining for your kids, you're going to use it.
You can save all the "well MY kids will be different" BS, because that goes right out the window about the time mommy and daddy haven't slept in five weeks.
If you are feeding your child's brain garbage by letting them watch "Cars" on an endless loop, then yes, you will probably end up with a dumb kid with zero attention span.
If you are feeding your child's brain quality information, puzzles, logic, and art, then odds are you will have a smart kid, who in turn won't spoil his own kid's brain with garbage.
This is all a big deal over something most people don't understand or have any experience with.