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I think this is a clever marketing (meta-marketing?) by Palm - either outcome works in their favour. If Apple caves and lets them sync the Pre with iTunes, that lowers the barrier for existing iPhone users to switch to a Pre, it gives Palm seamless interoperability with the client software for the most popular online music store, etc.
On the other hand, if Apple goes out of their way to prevent the Pre from syncing via iTunes, then that makes Apple look the bad guy - while making Palm look like the underdog.