[quote]They can't surely be doing one query for every count? e.g. "Slippers (1286)","Comfort (7068)", or are they?[/qoute]
They could be.
But you know, they COULD be doing those counts in JS code. If the total number of items is in the low thousands, say, that would kind of make sense. Take the load off the server.
An optimist sees the glass as half full.
A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
A realist drinks it no matter how much there is.