I also received this interesting comment via email:
I really want to say that they are kind of a waste of money. If you have talent, you’ll have it with the mouse. If you don’t a tablet isn’t going to help. But hey, what do I know?.,..
To a degree, I have to agree. Much of my own digital art is done with a ball mouse. Without a ball mouse, I'm pretty helpless at drawing on the computer. The ball provides a drag that I rely on to maintain accuracy -- something not available on optical/laser mice.
While I've entertained the idea of a tablet, I just cannot justify ownership yet. If I did get one, I think I'd try to get one of the models where the computer screen is repeated on the device itself, as I'm far too visual (and possibly not optically coordinated enough) to draw without looking. I can do that with a mouse, because I've been doing it for 15+ years now -- but not with a pencil. Just how my brain is wired right now, and I've become a bit set in my ways in terms of how I can and cannot draw.
I would not bother with anything overall larger than 9x12 -- meaning the screen would probably be 8x10 or smaller. Even 6x9 is probably a decent working size. I can draw smaller objects better than I can large ones. I can do well at curve when just a few inches long, but trying to draw a page-sized curve is an ugly wavy line.
NOTE: segen77 drew the new The Digital FAQ "d-question" (d?) logo, probably using a drawing pad, from my scanned and emailed hand drawings. I simply could not manage to get it digitally as perfect as I had wanted. He's my go-to for clean logo work (usually clean-up and re-draw of my sketches, using Adobe Illustrator).