Here's a bit of an update. First, getting rid of those *.db files messed some things up so I had to put them back. But at least now I know where they are. And have a better idea, by inference from all the things that were affected, about what is in them.
I did some more testing and without going into gory details it's pretty clear that the problem is in webOS ... probably in Synergy ... not in CompanionLink. After a full erase and reinstalling accounts, I can get the same sort of Contacts problems with online accounts that have nothing to do with CompanionLink's sync.
Before resorting to a full erase I got an extension of the CompanionLink Palm Desktop trial and downloaded/installed the latest build. I removed the CL account and app. Then I reinstalled the app, let it recreate the account, and did a full sync using the "reload all contacts" option to force everything to be overwritten. [device (not Luna) restarts at every point where it might be useful, probably more than were necessary]
At that point I was able to see all the contact info in the right pane when I clicked on a contact in the left pane.
Great! Problem solved!!
When I scrolled to what should have been the bottom of the list of 600+ contacts, there was an even longer list below. All of the broken contacts from the previous load were still there. In addition to that, there were still more what looked like fragments of those broken contacts.
The upside was that by linking any of these busted entries to the profile of one of the "good" entries I could then delete both entries. I could even link a bunch of the broken entries with the profile of a single good entry and delete them all at once.
But there was no way I was going to sit there and go through what now amounted to well over 1,000 busted contacts and fragments and link/delete them one by one.
So I removed all accounts, including the CL account, removed the CL app and did a full data erase. Then I reinstalled the CL app, let it create the account and did a sync to the clean machine.
It all seems to be working as well as might be expected. But there are still gremlins in the Contacts. It appears that there is one or more bugs in Synergy's handling of the Contacts database because the only way these weird things can be happening to contacts AFTER all of your accounts have been removed from the Touchpad is by the crap being stuck in Synergy's database. That's the only way I can figure this junk can still display in the Contacts app when there are no accounts active.
And once you get the crap in the Synergy database there is no apparent way to get rid of it short of an erase of all the data (using the Device Info app).
Until Synergy's contacts handling is fixed it sure would be nice if someone would come up with an app that would let you just do a bulk erase of the contacts entries from the Synergy database rather than having to use the data erase from the Device Info app. The data erase is a blunt instrument. And it's not even a very good one. Using it leaves the Touchpad in a somewhat indeterminate state that can make it difficult to get everything working again even if you've done your best to do backups.
Speaking of which, I would pay a bunch of money if someone could come up with a proper backup/restore app for webOS that worked globally, similar to Cardbkup or NVBackup do in PalmOS. E.g. backs up EVERYTHING .. ALL apps, ALL their data, ALL their preference settings, AND all the system settings, etc. And then allows a complete or selective restore.
I tried to do something like that with the Homebrew tools that are available. But, although someone has gone to a lot of effort to try to be helpful, they don't come anywhere near being what is needed to do the job, even for someone who is technically knowledgeable. We need simple backup/restore apps like the two mentioned above or similar and there's nothing even close at this point.
So I'll probably Docter the Touchpad this weekend and start fresh from a reliable starting point. Trying to get things sorted after the data erase is just making me tear out what little hair I have left.....