I am in a similar situation with my reward level. I am currently Platinum with 73 nights, and have been thinking about overnight stays just for the sake of Platinum.
On most matters, I agree that Platinum and Gold are often treated in similar ways with similar rewards. Yet with international stays (most of my travel) I find that I get distinct treatment and great rooms as a Platinum member.
My understanding, however, is that if I did not make the 2 extra stays I would only get 23 nights toward Gold next year.
In recent years, Marriott has offered the chance to buy back Platinum or Gold status with points.
I'd like to see further discussion about the possible tradeoffs either way.
Renewing Elite/Reward level is a very important topic especially as year-end approaches. Thank you for bringing it up, I know many are concerned about being shy of Elite Qualifying Nights.
See an earlier post, Re: Elite Status for information about options Marriott graciously offered members to buy back Elite status.
It took awhile to locate the actual reference, but Marriott offered two ways to Buy Back Your Marriott Rewards Elite Status for 2009, let's hope Marriott offers these similar opportunities again in 2010.