*If that were true, why did you ever leave Visual Studio 2003? And what possible scenario could there be where your CEO would ever allow you to buy VS2011, XP-support or not?
No. I quit using VS2003 since I change company. The company I worked still using VS2003 at the time. They have components that use .NET v1.1 runtime and the boss don't want to pay for the upgrade because there's no visible benefit, and .NET v4.0 which allow things be run side-by-side aren't invented yet.
EDIT: Btw, that company is a Microsoft Certified Partner which have MSDN subscription. Cost of buying VS2005 was non-existant, only the inerta of old codebase and various components.
The next company is outsourcing company that must use whatever the customers provide, be it VS2005, Java Eclipse, Foxpro or just VB coding interface of Access VBA. The programming languages and tools just varies each project.
The next company uses Java and just migrated to .NET last year, so decision for VS IDE is irrelevent.
My current company also use VS2010 from the beginning, so the decision is irrelevent too.
Your CEO doesn't care about XP or Vista or anything. she/he cares about profit margins. If 90% of your customers are using XP, you're probably not going to be able to upgrade to VS2011, but if 5% of them are, and your team will be 10% more effective with VS2011 than without, then the CEO will happily ditch those customers in order to reap the 5% marginal improvement.
Err.. first, let me correct you that the new VS is VS11, not VS2011. It's just VS2010 is also the 10th version of VS so it's shortened to VS10. (VS2008 is 9.0, VS2005 is 8.0, VS.NET 2003 is 7.1, VS.NET 2002 is 7.0, VS6 is the one with VB98... ) If anything, please name it VS2012.
Back to the topic... Except the increase in margin is generally not be seen in a short time. Remember what I said? Most users (including me) using VS2010 is still running it in WinXP. And there'll be lots of work to do for upgrading developer's machines to (Win7 I suppose). The environment needs to be set up to make sure old tools doesn't break in the new machine. There's expected dayloss to the upgrade time (okay, I'll stop here... just everything you need to do for upgrading development machine)
It's just reasonable to say that the greatest pushback is from the OS, no matter customer side or developer side. So no... having support for IDE and the runtime for longlife OS like WinXP stopped in the same version of VS doesn't sound too wise. I'd say Microsoft should drop IDE support for WinXP in VS2010, then upgrade to this version would have faced less resistance. (Just like what you said, a new IDE with productivity feature that could be available in no time - just install the new IDE and use it)