I don't know anything about the Kindle. A friend has an older one, and loves it (one handed reading).
I have a laptop that I use at home. Laptop computers are not actually designed to go on your lap though... they heat up too quickly, which can cause issues. So, I have a tv-tray that the laptop sits on when I use it (so that I'm not tied to a desk). I like the size of the keyboard (though it's still smaller than my work keyboard), and the fact that it has a cd drive (as well as usb and a slot for my sd card). I use this at night to read fb, mamapedia, email, etc... while watching tv.
I also have a netbook which was handed down to me (so not my choice to buy). For travel, I much prefer the netbook over the laptop. Being much smaller and lighter, it's easier to put it into a bag and go. It doesn't take up as much space as a fullsized laptop, but that being said it also has a much smaller keyboard. Also, no cd drive (though it does have the usb connections). It boots up much faster than my laptop at home. It doesn't seem to heat up as badly as the laptop... I've actually even lay in bed watching tv while playing a midless game on the netbook... which was propped on my chest (yah, I was being very lazy).
All that being said, if you're going to go the expense route... have you considered an iPad. I have several friends who have iPad's, and love them. (I covet theirs, but I know they'd notice if they went missing all of a sudden ::wink:: ) One of my friends bought a refurbished older-gen iPad for a great price. The iPad does all the things the others do, and takes up less space than the laptop or netbook).
[We play roleplaying games which have a lot of big books to cart around. I used to bring my laptop so we wouldn't have to cart the books, but use the netbook for that now. I would really like to get an iPad, but just can't swing it. Did consider getting an ebook reader (though not a kindle) for my husband because he keeps killing backpacks with all the books he carry's.]