At long last! Businesses and public figures who have accumulated more than the 5,000 friend-limit (or those who see that eventually becoming an issue) can convert that profile to a page. The other main advantage of pages is that people can become "fans" without the owner of the page having to "friend" them back (which is a very time-consuming task for profiles with thousands of followers).
This can be done by going to the handy-dandy profile-page migration tool on Facebook. There's more great information at Inside Facebook.
There are some things to be aware of before you do this. First, this decision is irreversible, so you don't want to do this just to "try it out," to "see what happens." The Facebook help center has more information on that and other important questions.
Mashable's Christina Warren tried this on Thursday, and says it was unintentional Facebook suicide. She lost all of her prior posts, photos, comments and likes as well as the username everyone knows her by.
Until Facebook gets more of the kinks worked out, I would say this is a good option to consider for those who have been maintaining parallel profiles and pages, and no longer want to do both. But everyone else might want to wait for awhile before making the change.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.