There's nothing wrong in using the phone as a dedicated debug device, at least you get real-life performance since the Windows Phone 8 emulator might give you the false idea that your program is running fast enough (that's right, the 8 emulator is running too fast on my machine since it's running in hypervisor mode in stark contrast of the 7 emulator).

Sad that your company isn't willing to make an exception for sake of business development.

 

edit: besides, at this point I wouldn't develop a dedicated Windows Phone app but one using Portable Library, so you can have the app run on WP7, WP8 and W8 with maximum code sharing.