Had this over a month ago when Buy.com had it for the same price. I was excited that Android can be run on it until I received it and it wanted to update to 220.127.116.1171 upon 1st power up. Of course I wanted to just use it without updating, but there was no way around it. After the update, the dingleberry root project has propects about rooting 7971 but didn't release it yet.
As I waited, I used the Playbook with OS 2 and loved it as a web surfing device. The OS is brisk, the screen is great and the form-factor was perfect. On top of that it had a GPS and even tethered via Bluetooth to access 3G data off my work issued Blackberry. I have used the iPad1, iPad2, HP TouchPad, Amazon Kindle and found this to be my hardware favorite. However it lacked APPS! I didn't complain and continued to use it as a web surfing device.
Months later, one of the most vocal and primary DingleBerry developers stated that cracking 7971 and above is reaching the 'illegal' realm and will no longer work on it. BlackBerry then released OS 2.0.1 which stablized the web browser and another DingleBerry developer will continue development. But it was too late, I sold it.
It is and still remains one of the best tablet hardware-wise that I have encountered. The 7" form factor for a tablet is perfect. However, more 7" tablet with similar features will be available very soon in the $250 and below price range. The latest Samsung 7" tablet's hardware is very good, but this PlayBook screen is still better. The future is looking good for tablets.
I understand BlackBerry's stance. They have an OS that runs Android 2.3 apps, but they must be repackaged for the Playbook OS so that Blackberry can make money. Too bad none of the major apps you find common in both iOS and Android aren't yet available. It's only been 4 month since OS 2's release, but they need to catch up quick. Those <$250 7" tablet are going to flood the market quick.
By the way, for those that buy it, there may be a way to get around the update. Install the BlackBerry Desktop Manager and attach your Playbook to your computer on 1st power up. Use the Desktop Manager to backup your device. Then let the Playbook update itself. After the update, restore it back with the backup your created.