The Apple employee gave you a suggestion on what to do. You can either do that, or not, as you see fit.
"I am questioning if I want to buy any more Apple products in the future"
Since you didn't buy the iPad you have, I'm not sure how your threat is going to impact Apple.
"It may be time to switch to a company that actually values its customers"
Dell wants your business.
I was told by an employee that since I didn't by the Ipad from the Apple store that could not exchange.
Very few stores will accept a return of a product not purchased from them. That Apple Store is responsible for their own inventory and sales, just as is any other store, and can't just take back a product they didn't sell. Try going into Best Buy or Sears and ask them to take back a product you didn't buy from them and see what response you get.
I was told by the Apple employee that about the only thing I could do is try to sell the iPad on eBay or some other place like that. Really Apple the best you can do is tell me to sell the iPad on eBay?
Yes, that's the best they can tell you. The Apple Store didn't sell you the iPad - or at least you have no proof that it was purchased from them - so it's unreasonable for you to expect them to take it back.
In any case, suit yourself. Keep it, sell it, give it away, or try to get the purchase receipt from this "promotion" and then see if that store, whatever it was, will allow you to exchange the iPad.
You can only get a refund from Apple if you return the item within 14 days of purchase.
Your only option is to sell the iPad and buy a new one.
Apple Reuse and Recycle Program
How to Sell Your Old iPad http://tinyurl.com/85d69lk
Other sources to sell.
eBay Instant Sell http://instantsale.ebay.com/?search=ipad
Sell and Recycle Used Electronics - Gazelle http://www.gazelle.com/
For instant gratification in selling a used iPhone or iPad, Gazelle’s Gadget Trader, an iOS app, is tough to beat. In seconds it detects the device and reveals how much it is worth in good condition. Tap the Sell This Phone to Gazelle button and the deed is done.
Sell Electronics for Cash - Next Worth http://www.nextworth.com/
Buy My Tronics http://www.buymytronics.com/
Sell Your iPad http://www.sellyourmac.com/mac-product-guides/ipad.html