Currently the iPad has a single configuration item, Server: dish.sling.com .. kinda odd, I don't use dish! If I put in my ip, should that work?
No. That server is the "Sling Account" server for iOS devices.
In general, I don't understand the need for an account on sling, but I suspect it has to do with making things easier for folks, right?
Yes. This article (http://support.slingbox.com/get/KB-1000186.html) should help you find the correct page to input the Sling ID or IP address and Port Number to negotiate a connection to your Slingbox.
Just wanted to say "thanks"! And once again, I've found out the hard way that I should do it my way. I'm fortunate enough to have a fixed ip address so will just set up port-forwarding so that (I hope!) Sling/Echostar is just left the **** out of the loop.
I worked for 30 years in the industry (Xerox research, Apple [Lisa/Mac], Sun) and a stunt like sling pulled would get you fired, but likely first taken out back. Unbelievable!