I finally determined I want to use my old Apple ID (the wife and I both have our company email setup as IDs). We use hers as our "joint" accout for purchasing apps, and I want to use mine for my iCloud setup.
I wound up using her's for my first iCloud setup, then, without realizing the setup limit, I setup two different @me.com accounts (I was just experimenting with the configuration, and different account names).
Now I'm getting the "The maximum number of free accounts have been activated on this iPad". I don't want/need the two @me.com accounts and I've removed them from the iPad, but from my research it sounds like the device gets registered upstream with Apple[?] I see the two accounts still have active AppleIDs (I'm still able to login to the ID manager and iCloud with both). I don't need another [email] account, I simply want to use my old, existing Apple ID.