So over time I find that I keep coming back to one particular ebook reader: the Jetbook Lite.
It's a non-backlit LCD screen e-reader and is available at the moment on Buy.com for $129 with free shipping. The only issue might be the lower contrast compared to e-ink readers - since its not back lit, the background is more newspaper grey But at least it doesn't strain the eyes like backlit LCDs though.
I also love the fact that it runs on AA batteries since that means I can buy 4 rechargable batteries, use two and switch them out for the other pair if I end up leaving it on for a day by mistake. No hours of charging or anything. And considering my laptop battery can no longer hold its charge for more than 10 minutes when unplugged, it would be great not to have that issue with the e-reader. Plus rechargable AA batteries are much easier to replace :D
I think what tipped the scale are the formats its able to read: : "JetBook is meant for use with the following: books in TXT, PDF, FB2, ePub, Mobi, PRC and RTF formats, pictures in JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP formats and Audio Books in MP3 format"
\o/ In a couple of years I might get something super new and shiny but I'd rather go for an older device with a cheaper price-tag for now.
Oh and for anyone interested: reviews for Jetbook Lite over here