Not 3G, says DH, it adds £40+ to the price & it's not necessary if you mostly use iPad at home & have Wifi. iPad 1 doesn't have a camera, is slower & not as good graphics as iPad2. We are looking at iPad2 for my 13yo. My techno-inept dad has recently got to grips & is a dab hand with his Samsung Galaxy.
There is apparently an ipad mini coming out in the next few weeks. Might be worth waiting for the reviews of that.
I don think I would buy an ipad for my 8yo (not least becuase she dropped mine and cracked the screen!). She is, though, welcome to use mine for games etc when I am not using it (as is her sister). Mine is an ipad 1 and i might upgrade to a 3 (or 4 depending on when it is due). I thought about giving them my ipad 1 to share when I upgrade, but think i will describe it as a "house" ipad, rather than "theirs".