Aaron Vronko, CEO of Michigan-based Rapid Repair, a repair shop specializing in iDevices. He said, "It's unlikely that hardware is the primary cause of the [problem]. This is probably a software problem, or a hardware quirk that software must negotiate."
In addition, the fact that the wi-fi failures are intermittent, not absolute, also points to the problem being software-related. He said, “If this was hardware related, it would almost certainly have to be an error in assembly or failure in the chip itself. However, chip-related failure would likely be more absolute in its effects.”
Vronko believes it might be a power management issue. "The fact that a network settings reset can sometimes resolve the issue points strongly to a power-saving feature run amok." Apple itself has suggested to customers to attempt a network settings reset in the case of such wi-fi issues.
Power-saving run amok? Well, wi-fi technology can really drain battery power. The new iPad shipped with the new-to-the-iPad Broadcom BCM4330 chip, which supplies both wi-fi and Bluetooth. Vronko said,
In other words, Apple has pushed power savings in its wi-fi unit to the max. A change to the software could provide more juice to the BCM4330, possibly fixing the issues.
Of course, this is all speculation. Apple has not publicly acknowledged a wi-fi issue in the new iPad, or announced that a fix was in the works.