Having an iCloud email address does not imply it is an Apple ID.
Any Email address can be used as an AppleID. an iCloud address may simply be a new Email address but have no AppleID associated with it.
Your Apple Id should be the one used to setup the iTunes and App stores and as such would be the one to use to setup iMessage.
Since AppleIDs cannot be merged and if indeed your cloud email is another Apple Id, I would not use it as such, and simply keep it as an email address because any content purchased or downloaded by one Apple ID is forever tied to it and cannot be transferred to another.
Thank you Phil !
I appreciate you clarifying a number of things for me.
I had the mobileme, mac and NOW it is the icloud e-mail address for years and have always used it as such, just an e-mail address and well, now for the stuff in the cloud. And so I made the assumption somehow that this was also recognized as an AppleID. Partly because when one logs in to it online, the field now says APPLEID, which is actually the e-mail address @icloud.com, so that threw me off.
The techie used another e-mail address that I have as the AppleID. Is that okay using an entire e-mail address as an ID?
So in effect, IF at some point, I do not have this e-mail address anymore (which is being used for the AppleID), then it is okay. It is JUST a NAME, so to speak. Can I then go in and change where the info would be sent to a different address, i.e. my icloud one? I intend to always have the icloud one, whereas the other address may be stopped if we transfer elsewhere.
Sorry, I just find all of this rather confusing....and want to be sure.