So, let's look at the situation:
HP "had intent" to get into the Tablet market.
This market is dominated by Apple, with several also-rans...
1) In order to get traction, HP would either have to have an INCREDIBLE value proposition (e.g. PACKED with every possible piece of Enterprise Software - Doc Editing Suite, Asset tagging/tracking, RDP/RA/some-kind-of-bloody-remote-access-tool-that-ENTERPRISES actually use!)
2) Ho themselves out at - or slightly below - cost, in order to "buy" a portion of the market.
Well, as for (1) above, HP DID NOT INVEST THE REQUISITE CAPITAL in getting the job done. The product was not fully baked, and the software is still not there. Did HP offer to pay ANY of the Office-suite manufacturers to port to WebOS?
As for (2)... well... it might've worked, eh Leo???!!! Would $199 and $299 for TP's have had people lining up outside buildings and stores at 07:00... probbaly not. Would it have got the sales folk at BB and others a bit more interested in pushing it... maybe not. Would it have got me buying a couple BEFORE the firesale - absolutely!
Either way, the premature soggy mess we're all watching now MUST have been an identified contingency before the fact. Whether it was or not, the entire HP board, Leo, et al should have their rear-ends fired. Now.