I made a Genius Bar appointment over at Perimeter Mall, and explained my problem to a tech. She hadn't heard of any issues like this, and started the usual round (some of which I'd already tried). That went through the complete reset, wiping out everything on the iPad--I'd expected this, and backed up everything the night before. Then Tech 1 had to hand me off to Tech 2. Explain again, then he collected the iPad after the reset was finished, and...still no 3G. He then suggested I sit in the store and call AT&T, as Apple had exhausted all their options. (They were all very up front about the iPad being pretty new to everyone.) I spent close to an hour on the phone with a nice AT&T guy, who reset everything he could on the account side....still no 3G. He then asked if the Apple store could either put my micro SIM in another iPad to test it, or swap out the micro SIM. The Apple folks said they couldn't do either of those, but eventually they called a nearby AT&T store and arranged for me to go get a new micro SIM over there. I ended the call with AT&T with him promising me a call-back to be sure my problem had been resolved, left the Apple store with a promise that they had a replacement iPad set aside for me if this didn't work, and went to the AT&T storefront. After a little churning there, the SIM was replaced and my 3G was back in business. Oh, and AT&T phone support did call to be sure everything was OK.
This all took 2-1/2 hours, but I must say both Apple and AT&T gave the impression of working very hard to deal with the problem. Now, I wonder what will happen when my iPad and I go to Denver in a few weeks?
The repair jaunt was Thursday, during what ended up being a very extended lunch hour. On my off-day Friday I did my usual Weight Watchers meeting at 12:30, then decided to eat lunch at Lucky Key chinese in the same strip mall to avoid the taking off and putting back on of the boot. I settled into a booth, placed my order, and pulled out the iPad to read a book. My waiter paused after delivering soup-and-eggroll and asked "Computer?" I said yes, sort of, it was an iPad. Next thing I knew there was a cluster of 4 waiters and waitresses saying "Internet?" "Read books? In Chinese?" (I didn't know the answer to that one.) The conversation then lapsed into Chinese as they stood and discussed it. Later in the meal, one more waitress paused and peered across the table to see it, but didn't make a comment. The English skills at Lucky Key are mixed.
And last iPad tidbit: I listened to a library audiobook today. No biggie for some people, probably, but I'd never managed this before. DeKalb County's electronic offerings have been limited--they started with ebooks but for Windows platforms only. Ebooks now seem to be gone, but they have downloadable audiobooks for checkout. I saw a notice that turned out to be a transition from some earlier system (NetLibrary) to Overdrive, and decided to take a look. It's quite limited--i think they only have a few hundred titles. They did have the latest Mercy Thompson (by Patricia Briggs) which I'm still wait-listed for in the regular library system, so I decided to give it a try.
I got an email a couple of days later saying I could check out the book. A hunt through the FAQs led me to an Overdrive app, and from there I could log in and claim the book, then listen to it using the app. It should be possible somehow to download the book into iTunes and then put it on either of my iPods or the iPad, I'd think, but this route came up first and worked. The player blipped a couple of times and I had to hunt down my place, but all in all it worked pretty well.
Oh, the book? Excellent. One of the few times I've listened to a book before reading it, and I was totally grabbed by the story and found myself carrying the iPad around the house to keep listening. I'm still going to check out the dead tree version when my name comes up, and will find it interesting to see how the reading compares to the listening.