It showed up in some nice packaging and the box itself is oddly clean. The same can't be said about the remote control, which is so complex looking at first sight that I literally laughed out loud when I saw it. Turns out there are even worse controllers, the Logitech GoogleTV controller looks even more complicated and less like a remote control but at least the Sony remote has a nice feel in the hands (it is basically a Playstation controller with many more buttons) and the principal interaction is a nice thumb-powered mouse controller.
I'll start with the highlights first: GoogleTV is the best (and almost only) way to watch any random Flash video you find on the web on your TV. I watch a lot of online feeds of European bike racing, and often it's someone's stream of local Belgium TV feeding to a Flash widget on a website, and GoogleTV can load those pages, play those videos and I can run them full-screen to minimize the web browser-ness of the whole thing.
I haven't found flash video on any site that wouldn't play in GoogleTV, and though I've heard that behind the scenes GoogleTV is running an older version of Google Chrome's browser with Flash, it works wonderfully for websites. I'd venture to say that the web browser in GoogleTV is the best web browser I've used on a TV before -- the fonts are readable sizes, the thumb/mouse controller on the Sony remotes is fast and easy to use to click around, and most websites render well on the device.
I haven't had any problems with the Blu-ray player, it seems to function just fine, though I'd say that complicated remote controller that seems necessary when using the device as a computer browsing the web is a bit of a pain if the phone rings and you want to find a pause button among the 80-90 buttons on the remote. I don't watch a ton of Blu-ray discs, I prefer to watch streaming HD movies on my xbox 360 or AppleTV, but all the typical Blu-ray functionality that is supposed to be there seems to be.
I'll openly admit that I didn't test out the main feature of GoogleTV, which is to provide a "wrapper" around your live TV viewing experience by letting you bring up a screen of supplemental material. This lets you do things like bring up Twitter streams while you watch a live show and though I've heard it's kind of cool, it seemed like a dream scenario only for the ADD set. Enabling that also meant two lame things: I'd have to rewire my A/V cabinet to funnel all content through my GoogleTV unit, and it would mean I'd always have to have my GoogleTV player on and interact with it constantly (the remote is Bluetooth, which universal remotes largely don't speak). GoogleTV was supposed to famously provide a TV-based interface to network TV websites as well, but quickly after the release of GoogleTV, networks began to filter out GoogleTV and effectively block it. As a result, I don't do much in the way of live TV interacting with GoogleTV.
GoogleTV also features a slew of installed apps, but I can watch Netflix on half a dozen other devices connected to my TV, and I don't use any of the streaming music offerings. I pretty much only use GoogleTV for the web browser and my home screen on GoogleTV isn't filled with apps, but instead has a bunch of links to sites I often access for video (cyclingfans.net, My YouTube favorites, a list of my recent SendTab.com bookmarks of video to watch later). There were rumors that a new version of Android/GoogleTV would be released with a real app store like Android's, and it looks like leaked screenshots support that. I'm looking forward to seeing what sorts of apps will be available for GoogleTV when the version 2.0 OS gets released.
Overall, it's a not-too-shabby Blu-ray player and an amazing web browser for your TV. Whether or not that is enough justification to purchasing one is up to the reader, I personally have no other way to watch ridiculously niche content (I get up at 4am to watch bike races broadcast with Flemish announcers). It also has a lot of promise in the form of an upcoming revamp of the operating system that may allow lots of additional custom apps.