The iPad is built on the iOS foundation, but it still has taken several leaps away from an iPhone and in the direction of personal computing. Part of this is the major set up process of the iPad, which requires you to sync right from out of the box without any lag time. Here is a look at the basic process of how to use iTunes to bring your brand new iPad up to speed.
When you first rush your new iPad out of the box and tab the home button you will notice that you are immediately given an image of the USB chord plugging into the iTunes logo. This means that you will have to plug it in to your regular computer to begin the process. If your iTunes is not up to date you are going to have to bring it up to at least iTunes 10, but if you have arleady been keeping up with standard updates required for an iPhone or iPod Touch then you should be fine.
Once you plug in your iPad to your computer using the accompanying USB chord, iTunes will read it and list it under the Devices heading in the left hand panel. You will be asked to go through the regular activation process, which will require you to approve the Terms and Conditions, and enter in your Apple ID if you have one. You will likely already have one if you have been purchasing content from the iTunes Store or have an iPhone or iPod Touch. You will want to centralize your account to include the iPad so that you have only one financial connection to Apple.
You will be asked to give an official name to your iPad and then will check whether or not to automatically sync content, such as music and apps. This is going to be a difficult choice during the original sync process if you already have a lot of content. If you do not want your iPad to be filled up with music or iPhone apps you already have downloaded you should keep this box unchecked, and you can then have a much quicker original sync process. You can always go through the content later on and decide what you want on your iPad individually amongst your iTunes libraries.
Once the set up process on your iTunes is complete you will be let know by the iPad taking up a regular center display, just like the other iDevices do when you plug them in. Initiate a regular sync and the software on the iPad will be updated, and will then be accessible. From there you can also begin a regular back and forth process where you sync apps, movies, and other media content. If you are working with other devices you are going to have to differentiate what content you want synced in your Apps tab, as well as the other tabs if you want to limit things like music on there as well.