I too have been thinking about getting a refurbished iPad.
The refurbishment is supposed to include a new battery, and a new case - that only leaves the screen or the electronics as the remaining possible reasons for return. If the screen was wonky, I suspect they would spot it during the refurbishment, and scrap the device. That only leaves the electronics as the risk to the buyer - electronics tend to follow the bathtub failure curve, ie they tend to fail either very quickly, or after many years. In between they are usually very reliable. I hope that apple remove all the returned ipads returned because of kaput electronics, so that should leave only the ipads containing working electronics.
I was thinking of using an ipad for multiple uses, including controlling my AV receiver, or streaming spotify to the receiver etc, and also using the ipad to read books and magazines when I commute to work during the winter (ie when it is too dark to read normal books by daylight).
However a colleague has said that he finds a Kindle much better for the eyes, when reading ebooks. That started me thinking about getting an Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch instead. However I am struggling to find any references on the web, relating to people using it to control hifi, or stream music. So I may still get an ipad, but am tempted to get the kindle as well for the ebooks etc.