I don't understand the animosity toward Kindles. I thought everyone likes trees. Maybe we should all read on papyrus scrolls or stone tablets. Two or three generations of e-readers down the road and we'll have a reading experience that perhaps rivals books. Romanticism of the past is almost always a deeply conservative response to change.
I miss illuminated manuscripts too. But, art books, coffee table books, (and for the moment) books that require lots of thumbing of pages will for a long time be better read and studied in paper form. I find my Kindle is best for pleasure reading, especially fiction, which I don't dog ear a lot. It's basically a replacement for paperbacks. Anything more scholarly is too cumbersome to read on my Kindle, but I look forward to the day when an e-reader is as liberating as a book. Wouldn't you like to live in a society where people have reading material on them all the time because it's so convenient? Where they read in airports rather than watch Fox News on giant monitors? (And where they also enjoy epistolary experiences with a great variety of people, many of them strangers, because communicating by written word is easy and accessible? And which is why I'm a fan of the blogosphere!)
I'm as nostalgic as the next pedantic literary snob for the smell of yellowing pages. But, I like living trees more. And I find the animosity to Kindles and e-readers to be unwholesomely elitist. It's worth remembering that it's only the present generation and soon-to-come generations of e-readers that are expensive. Five years from now they'll be cheap. Paperback novels and internal combustion engines will (hopefully) soon be artifacts of the Industrial Revolution.
It's always, always easier to know what we lose rather than imagine what we gain. That's why it's easier to be a critic than an artist. Let's be artists.