I love my dash, and I'm very thankful that Duane has resurrected it (after also resurrecting my Chumby!), but to be honest, replacing the Dash wouldn't be all that difficult. A tablet is obviously the first thing that comes to mind, since the Dash is really just a simple tablet. You can get a decent tablet for $50, so it's not really a big ticket item!
Getting a tablet to do the kind of stuff a Dash does out of the box can be a pain, though, which I guess is the point of this thread. I have a recent iPad, several Amazon Fire tablets, and a B&N android tablet. None of them are set up as Dash replacements, but they all do some of the stuff you'd do with a Dash.
So what did I replace my Dash with? An Amazon Echo Dot, and a pair of Amazon Echos. A Dot is the same price as a cheap tablet, it does alarms and timers, it does radio and Spotify and audible.com audiobooks, and it's voice-activated! The sound quality ain't great, but it's certainly as good as the Dash- you can always improve it by adding an audio-in speaker.
My Dash has always sat in the kitchen, where it's handy to consult for time, weather and news. If I need an alarm clock, I have my smartphone (also voice activated, of course), or the bedroom Dot.
I would like it if someone would eventually come up with a Dash emulator app I could run on an android tablet, but for now I have my Chumby/Dash, and my Dots and Echos.