Considering a Kindle

I’m considering the purchase of an Amazon Kindle 2. I like reading books but books a’re big and bulky which doesn’t fit very well with my current nomadic lifestyle. I’ve spoken to a few people who recommend the Kindle.

However, I just read this. Amazon has allowed publishers to restrict whether a book can be read aloud on the Kindle or not. There is no basis for this in law, but Amazon has conceded all the same.

I’m typically a hardliner on issues like this. I boycott all Apple products because of the company’s proprietary lock-in practices. I use Ubuntu GNU/Linux because it includes software freedoms not available on proprietary operating systems.

Is there a Kindle competitor out there? Is the same range of books available?

Before I make a purchase I want to find out if I can load books onto the Kindle via Ubuntu. The Kindle includes a cell phone wireless component that allows internet access, but only in the US. So outside of the US I need another way to load books. If that requires Windows or Mac then I won’t buy the Kindle.

Then I’d also like to research the selection of books that is available. I’m hoping that the type of non-fiction books I typically read are readily available on the Kindle, otherwise, again, no point getting one.

Do you have a Kindle? Do you use Ubuntu? Any feedback?