It is not like an iPad, the experience is different.
It is a cheaper device, hence games and the feel will be slower.
The apps are generally free, there is a main app that will let you download more.
If you know how to work an ipod touch, you should get MOST of it, but there are some things with android which take a while to learn.
MSN messenger will work, but Skype's application may struggle on 2.1
I think a Gmail client will work for email. Tv shows will work, you will need a large capacity micro SD though (8gb + about 15 AUD)