Went to about 10 different stores hoping to play with a N7. Only 3 had it. One with no internet connection and no movies on it to test out. One had Transformers that wouldn't load. And one at GameStop that didn't even have n account logged in. How am I or anybody supposed to buy it if we can't even test it out? But I ended up getting one anyways. And is it just me or are the text online blurry when not zoomed in? Google books looked fine. But when I'm web browsing texts are horrible. And colors seemed washed out compared to my GNEX.
I liked the AOSP browser's quick controls, too, but I still think Chrome is the best browsing experience on the N7.
In regards to the OP's experience with abused tablets, that's certainly not specific to the N7 or Android tablets. The local Best Buy's tablets were all perfect, in great working order. But the local Staples tablets look like they've been sent through a tumble dry with a handful of gravel, and they function about as well as they look. A third of them won't turn on, some are stuck at weird error screens... it's really a great buying experience, let me tell you.
I've yet to walk into a car dealership who tried to give you a test drive in a vehicle with a broken transmission...
There's obviously more profit to be had with Apple products. In PC World they had a special section with modern fittings and six ipads set up for customers to play with. The Nexus was stuck beside the Playbook, Samsung and others, with no real effort to make them appealing. It's like they're the cheapo option for customers who can't afford Apple.