I have an iPad2 and a MBA. For surfing and games the iPad2 for me is sufficient, I do encounter the "you need flash installed" when it's a web based flash game I want to try out but that's rare because I really play games that I download from the App store. For surfing the iPad2 is adequate for me, except for when I you need flash..again which is rare for me. The battery life of the iPad2 is very impressive, i could surf and play games for hours.
Yes the iPad2 can make text and calls, I rarely use it for that.