Originally Posted by Frosties
If the address is in use then it's in use, whether or not you have an account.
If I'm understanding correctly, the ID is in use by the OP. However, since their ID was originally a @me.com ID, they cannot create a new @icloud.com equivalent since one has already been assigned to them (on an alias-like basis).
So, assuming the above is accurate, I believe the question is if you can cancel your existing @me.com Apple ID and then re-create it "from scratch" as an @icloud.com ID. If that's right, then I'm guessing the answer is no but you'd be better off confirming with Apple