I believe MS knows very well about your desire of choice of UI, but they can’t allow that. I think they want to introduce 8 and teach the general public on how to use it. If they left a choice for the general public, most would probably remain to do things the old way, therefore no progression. Call it “forcing” or anything you will, but it can’t and won’t be there from a business point of view. Is it morally or ethically correct for them to excercise this? I'm not qualified to answer that.
They kept the desktop for all to use legacy software during this transition of change. I hear every one of you Pros and PUs. It surely sounds like this doesn’t pacify your needs and rightfully so. Perhaps MS knows this. I’m quite sure they have you in mind. 7 will be around for quite some time and probably a 9 will suffice your needs.