When we reached out to Facebook about the issue a few months back, we were told that indeed there's no automated method for converting a profile to a Page and that any business looking to do so would need to go through a potentially arduous, manual process, particularly if they've already amassed a large number of friends (who need to be converted to fans).
A few weeks ago, Facebook finally launched an automated conversion tool for businesses who inadvertently set up their Facebook presence using a standard profile. Social media blogs just started reporting the launch of the tool earlier this week, but as a diligent ReadWriteWeb commenter pointed out, the tool had been made available earlier in March (Thanks again, pete321).
Today, Mashable reported that the tool had been taken down by Facebook. Whether or not the tool's removal had anything to do with Mashable writer Christina Warren's critique of the tool's effectiveness is not clear.
For the time being, businesses looking to convert their profile to a Page are stuck with the manual process, at least until (or if) Facebook brings the feature back. Granted, this doesn't affect most businesses, only the ones that are improperly operating a Facebook profile for their company, rather than a Page.