I suspected that this is the case. It doesn't say much for Adobe to create such a situation. I just wanted to confirm it before mentioning in in my talk next Thurs.
By the way, I also notice that there is no reply to my question from Adobe. I'm sure they monitor the forum. Somehow, I suspect the whole situation is designed by marketing.
I don't have any desire to be downing Adobe or anyone here. I was just making an observation. I will answer the questions though.
Having PRE10 come out after LR 3 is no problem. It would have been trivial for Adobe to simply make a data base conversion utility available that could be run against the PRE 10 catalog to make it compatible with LR 3. It's is done all the time. They are taking advantage of the fact that most users aren't aware of this so simply accept it as normal. By the way I am a programmer and engineer and have been in this situation many times. I never left my customers hanging out to dry.
As far as "designed by marketing" I of course have no direct knowlege, but just step back and consider that both LR 3 and PSE 10 are being currently promoted with discounts etc. Also, notice that the promotional literature for neither of the programs informs the buyer of the transfer limitation. So like the person who cantacted me who had updated from PSE 9 to 10, then found out that it was having catalog corruption problems on his large file, could have purchased LR 3 on the recommendation of many sources (he fortunately hadn't yet), then found he had to wait and upgrade to LR 4 to be able to continue his operations. Add the difficulty I had in tracking it down for him. It all adds up to a deliberate marketing ploy. Not uncommon these days.
As I said I won't belabor the issue, but won't bail out or get angry about it.
Thanks all, and I hope my needs will be more in line with the forum in the future.