Somehow the connector broke. Not sure what happened, but the device stopped charging and was therefore completely useless without the dock connector.
The repair itself I thought went quite well. It was fairly tricky. I have repaired a lot of electronics before but taking the screen off and on was the tough part. Unfortunately, after I got everything back together there is a strip of the digitizer that is not working (i.e. the touch sensitivity does not work on a horizontal strip in the middle of the ipad. I'm not sure what I did to make it stop working- whether I damaged the cable, or the digitizer itself. I may never know because it was such a huge pain to get the screen off and on that I may not take it apart to fix it. My girlfriend is pretty happy now that the ipad works at all and is not that bothered by this dead strip on the screen.
Taking the screen off is very tricky. I used the 'iopener' heating device which was quite helpful. I was very ginger with the digitizer and was surpised that is was damaged. I think you may be better off just buying a replacement digitizer and replacing it rather than wasting time trying to be so careful with it.