Lucky for you--and for the people on your gift list--buying the iPad as a gift is much less complicated than giving the iPhone - mostly.
There are two major types of iPad: Wi-Fi only or 4G + Wi-Fi. You shouldn't think twice about giving the Wi-Fi-only model (other than checking your credit card balance, that is). Because it's Wi-Fi only, there are no ongoing monthly charges associated with that iPad gift. You'll buy the iPad and your recipient won't need to buy any subscriptions or service plans to use the gift.
The 4G + WiFi model is another story, though. Like the iPhone, that model includes always-on 4G Internet connectivity from AT&T or Verizon, which requires a monthly service contract. Though this contract can run as little as US$15/month, consider whether it's a good idea to give a gift that requires the recipient to spend money every month. It may be OK - you might have discussed it ahead of time, for instance - but consider it before laying down your cash.