Growing up our electronic games consisted of a keyboard hooked into the TV that had maybe 3 games, none of which we could ever really figure out. Now there's crazy amounts to choose from and it can be so overwhelming. Not only are the various consoles mind boggling but the mental battle over whether I should give in and pay too much for a toy I'd give them limited access to or forget the whole thing and have them continue to ask and leave me with less "quiet" time.
I gave in. My 5,4,and 2 year olds all have Leapsters. And they are the most wonderful things ever! We use them generally on long car rides, summer nights before bed and when they need some alone time. I've found that setting limits makes me feel a lot better about having them stare at a screen. The games are all educational, and I've definately picked up on various things they've learned from the games. Each unit tracks your childs progress on Leapsters Learning Path website. It's super simple to connect the system straight to your computer and download the info. We don't use this feature; my kids switch their systems up all the time so there would be no telling whose progress was whose.
I have recently been begged for a DS. My prompt response was not until you're 6. So in a few more months I'll be able to blog all about a new system:)