The screen is not backlit to avoid eyestrain (as far as I know). That is why this technology is better for extended reading periods than reading on your laptop or PDA. I'm really looking forward to this product (or the iRex one— whichever gets to market first!) b/c I prefer to avoid using paper as much as possible, but reading on my tablet pc is difficult after only a relatively short period of time.
My main concern is the availability of books from the Connect store (I didn't find many that are on my current 'to read' list), lack of Mac support (!!), and cost of the books. I made a few comparisons, and while Sony is charging less compared to the hardback versions, I can find paperback versions of books for the same or sometimes lower price at [Amazon.com] or BarnsandNoble.com.