In this case, a close friend and former printer industry executive, but long moved on to bigger and better adventures, passed this email along with basically a "what the ...?" reaction.
I have no idea, except if it's spam, it's far afield from the typical ones most of us at least occasionally receive. But for posterity, here's the text of the email, with the names changed to protect the innocent (or otherwise)! (BTW a Google check of the reasonably local business name revealed no such establishment, and the address appears to be that of a private home.)
Subject: Quote request
Sent: Feb 3, 2010
We would like to inquire if you have in stock or can help us to get any of the description inks below,
HP LASERJET TONER CARTRIDGE (OEM ONLY)
1. HP Q7553A (53A) (OEM ONLY)
2. HP Q5949A (49A) (OEM ONLY)
3. HP Q5942A (42A) (OEM ONLY)
4. HP C4092A (92A) (OEM ONLY)
5. HP C8543X (43X) (OEM ONLY)
6. HP Q3964A (64A) BLACK COULOUR ONLY (OEM ONLY)
7. HP Q6511A (11A) (OEM ONLY)
8. HP C9731A (31A) (OEM ONLY)
9. HP C9721A (21A) (OEM ONLY)
10. HP C9730A (30A) (OEM ONLY)
11. HP Q6000A (OEM ONLY)
12. HP Q6001A (OEM ONLY)
13. HP Q6002A (OEM ONLY)
14. HP Q6003A (OEM ONLY)
15. HP Q7551A (51A) (OEM ONLY)
16. HP CC364A (OEM ONLY)
Please advise your unit pricing as we would be buying up to like 10 to 20 units of each of the aforesaid items at a time on one transaction for our upcoming project.
Also let us know the type of credit or debit cards which you accepted in making payment when purchasing from your company as for us to get
prepared for the payment as soon as we receive the quotation from you.
Thanks so much for your anticipated business relationship and cooperation and hope to read from you soonext.
[contact info deleted]