1) I clearly asked about usability since iOS is much more efficient of an OS as well as being deigned for the HW just as their apps are more efficient and designed for the HW, which is not the case with Windows or its apps. Using SQL Server not only makes no sense in that discussion but hurts any argument you may have. It's like saying I can run Xcode on an 11" MBA with a Core-i5 processor. It's technically accurate but it's a horrible experience.
2) You're a developer that uses Visual Studio so neither iOS nor Mac OS X would work for you so, again, even considering an iPad makes zero sense for this false comparison. No one is saying that weird use case isn't valid, but don't try to make a case that this is some norm and that Apple doesn't "get it" for not supporting Visual Studio on the iPad.
3) Not only a bigger screen but a better aspect ratio for this type of device, but for this to be a market success we'll need to see giving up their tablets and notebooks in order to go all in with this device that is neither a good tablet or good notebook. There is no evidence to support that and it will likely never happen no matter how the HW evolves to allow MS to make a great device in terms of HW if it still has the bloated, inefficient Windows OS and apps for it. It's still not a good experience for a tablet and the HW isn't a good experience as a notebook replacement.
1) You have no idea what your talking about... VS and SQL Server perform quite well on my Surface with an i5 processor. Would I deploy such a thing to production? No. But, it is perfectly usable and adequate for development - which is what I use it for. If XCode can't run on an i5 than that must be one sucky tool.
You didn't say anything about usability - you simply asked if the hardware was really more powerful. Not only is it more powerful, you can do a lot more with it. The iPad is a great tablet. I have nothing against it or Apple - but, it has lots of limitations that don't exist with something like a surface pro. If your fine with that, I'm happy for you - it's all about what fits your needs.
2) I never said anything about apple supporting VS or SQL Server - I never would expect such a thing. Why are you twisting things here? You asked if the surface was really more powerful... My use case was simply to illustrate that is the case. Or do you think it would be possible to write applications that are resource and as processor intensive as these and have them run well on an iPad?
3) You talk about it not being good at being a tablet or a notebook - yet, you likely have never even touched a surface of any variety. I love my pro. I use it as a tablet and a notebook all the time. In fact, I find it way more convenient than my laptop - which I almost never touch anymore since I got it. It's way more portable than the laptop and just as powerful - there's nothing I can do on my laptop that I can't do on my surface. The trade off with the pro (first gen) is that it is heavier than an ios or android tablet - but, if find the kick stand really makes up for that. When I'm on the couch or lazing around, I can just fold back the cover and use it as a base for the kickstand and then set it in my lap, put it on my chest if I'm laying down, or whatever. There are always tradeoffs with technology products, and so yes there are some downsides to the pro - but, the upsides for me more than make up for those downsides. An ipad for me at this point would just be redundant - and a waste of money as it would just sit unused in a drawer somewhere, since it doesn't even have a really good web browser.