Well I've ordered my Raspberry Pi Model B from MCM Electronics. Until that arrives I figure I'll install Apache Web Server and Python on my Windows laptop and try some coding to see what I can come up with. Both Apache & Python were selected because they run natively on the Raspberry Pi so I'm assuming any code I write on my laptop I can run on the RaspPi when it gets here.
The general concept is to use a USB WiFi adapter on the RasPi and configure it as an access point so the iPad can connect directly to it over WiFi. The Apache Web Server on the RasPi will serve up a web page to the iPad. Buttons on the web page will execute CGI scripts written in Python to control devices connected to the GPIO port of the RasPi.