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HP just sent out an email through their Small and Medium Business channel advertising the upcoming release of the HP TouchPad webOS tablet, but we can’t help but scratch our heads at the big bold lettering: “The countdown has begun.” Has it now? Would you mind telling us what we’re counting down towards, because it’s awfully hard to count down to something when you don’t know what number we’re starting on.

On a side note, this is the most we’ve seen of the fabled folio-style TouchPad case, the one that Jon Rubinstein showed on the screen at Think Beyond and we have yet to see in person, but still folds in on itself and lets you charge with the special TouchPad Touchstone with the case still on.

Additionally, the TouchPad has taken up residence on HP.com, linking to a general info and sign-up page (plus some delightfully flowery language about how the TouchPad is “the breakthrough HP webOS user interface – fully realized in a tablet experience.” Of course, this and the page it links to only offer “coming soon” as the release timetable for the TouchPad. Lastly, we’ve gotten word that the TouchPad has also appeared on Best Buy’s website, but like all of the other pages, HP’s been quite good at avoiding spilling any additional beans. But given the low profile the TouchPad was running under before today, we’re starting to feel that the launch might be soon. You know, whenever “soon” is when you’re operating under a nonlinear definition of time.