My best guess, now that they have offered the "buy back status" is that Marriott thinks we will give in and use up to 40,000 points to keep Platinum current status. I, for one, will not and if they want to degrade me, so be it. Not only have I been comped at a number of other hotels that offer more services (especially in view of this past year's decline and our conversations about CL, breakfasts, upgrades, etc), but I will save my points to use at a hotel (obviously outside of France, where most of the tack-on of upgrade charges occur) that really is Category 8.
I did so a few years ago, and it was worth it then. I simply think now, what with CL's closed on weekends and no free breakfasts, that it's easier to go to the competitors who have given me the same status. I still very much enjoy most stays at Marriott, but it is not worth a Category 8 night to ensure very few benefits.
I also recently wrote to Delta since I qualified for continuing status as Platinum Elite Plus in November, and they assured me I should get it very soon but should contact them if I did not. Given hotel and airline competition and comped status these days, I can always hope, just like Marriott seems to be considering downgrading some of us if we don't pay up in points, that maybe Delta (which has treated me wonderfully) will up me to Diamond since I have been a high Plat member forever. I can always hope...
This thread will be consolidated with Steppingstones' "show of hands" thread for Platinum Premier members who have received their 2012 Elite kits. Feel free to contribute to the conversation there.