There's no high concept to the Speck HandyShell. Slip your iPad 2 into its loving, polyurethane grasp and gain the ability to prop your vertically-oriented tablet at any angle between 0 and 180. It's a simple, but useful, tool.
I use my iPad 2 everywhere. On the couch. In bed. At the dinner table. In the kitchen. At work. The HandyShell makes using the tablet easier in some of these situations. It hangs from things! Like while I'm doing dishes. Or cowering from a hurricane. I'll prop up my iPad at a very slight angle when I'm eating so that I don't have to stare directly down. The foot/handle/loop doesn't change its position with a light, accidental pushes. The plastic, while flexible, maintains a rigidity and never feels like its going to crack or break anywhere. And the case isn't all that noticeable when looking at the screen.
You can't really customize the angle when it the tablet when it sits horizontally. While this definitely has the look, feel, and intent of being used like a tool (i.e. getting beat up), a little more attention to the fit and finish would be nice. Rough edges and visible seams take away from the visual appeal.
If you only use an iPad 2 for reading and browsing when both hands are free, the HandyShell's purpose will be lost on you. But if your iPad is your digital sidekick, and you almost-literally use it for everything, this is a nice little accessory to have, even if the $55 price tag is a bit high. [Speck]