To me it is not about the money. It's about forcing me to upgrade my system when I'd rather not do an upgrade right now. I have a lot of applications installed and it would take a lot of time to upgrade, especially since I prefer to do a clean install. I have a ton of music applications with dozens of paid for plugins that each have their own installer with different activation schemes. Every time I need to go through this it is a major PITA.
I realize no-one is forcing me to use the WP8 SDK, however the fact that there is really no technical reason why Windows 8 should be required other than for emulator support really ticks me off. Not everyone is ready for a major OS upgrade.