I really don't understand this logic regarding the iPad 3. How is it half assed? They had to ever so slightly thicken it to put enough battery in to kep the hour count the same for the Retina display. And? I prefer the thickness of the iPad 3 to the iPad 2. It always felt too thin compared to my wife's original iPad in Apple case. The iPad is smaller than a legal pa and is still less heavy than most hardback novels. I really don't see the issue.
My understanding is that they couldn't get the thinner screen they wanted with the lower power requirements and so at the last minute needed to increase the size of the battery as a result. It's significantly heavier than the iPad 2. It's so heavy that it's weight is it's defining factor and more or less the first thing you notice.
The "proof" of it's placeholder status, is the widely expected, mid-year release (possibly at the same event as the mini), of a "corrected" version of the iPad 3, with a better screen, a smaller battery and a thinner profile.
I'm thinking you just don't use your iPad that much if you don't notice the weight or perhaps you only use it when it's lying on a table or something?