Is it quite so bad to make it different than anything else? This whole touch thing is very different than anything we've had to deal with before. Of course "yuck" isn't a good response, so "different, but without the yuck" would be good.
I second the request to see what the mothership would like us to be doing with touch based UX. We've seen that touch can work well at a small scale on phones, and at a larger scale on Surface. The only thing missing is at the scale that tablets are made
Another complication in this whole mess is that pen is a whole different game than touch.
I am currently developing a pen+touch app on the HP Touchsmart TX2, which supports both technologies. Both are different from mouse and keyboard, but are different from each other. For example.
With the pen, icons on the extreme right hand side are hard to click (for right handed users) because you can't rest your hand on the screen to click them.
Target size is smaller with the pen than the fingers, but not as small as the mouse.
Occlusion is not as much as a problem with the pen. People are used to writing with a pen and looking at the result as they go.
Palm rejections work very poorly (on my machine) so switching back and forth between modes is difficult.
If Charles interviews someone about touch designs, I would love to hear how they consider the pen in the whole design equation.