According to information given at the Second Life Community Convention last year (Web), mesh, the same rendering tech that gives our avatars but is not accessible to users for creation, is coming to our world for everyone. And it looked to be on track as late as June 2010 when noted Resident Dusan Writer blogged about it (Web). But with T Linden gone and now Qarl Linden (the mesh magician behind the project), our world isn't likely to look like Citadel anytime soon.
I love my iPad. The Lab keeps giving me reasons to love it more.