JonBMX3 - 9:16 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)
Thank you everyone for the insight.
And yes, based on their keyword visibility pre-Penguin (1600+ keywords in top 20, according to SEMRush) and two months post-Penguin (*20 keywords* in the top 20), plus their status as an EMD for a high volume ecommerce keyword - it would seem some form of manual penalty was bestowed upon them.
At the same time, I have taken the stance of disregarding the warning messages from the beginning - for many of the various conspiracy-theory reasons we've all read about and especially since the company commissioned link building services in response to their fall.
So, for instances where Google hadn't "seen any evil" (reception of warning message), I would have suggested the approach of "raising a hand" to admit to evil (submitting a recon request) would not be the best approach, and might have nothing but negative consequences.