There's nothing ironic at all about it. You don't get to pick out one feature that iPhone has over Android, and then declare that because of that feature a move to the iOS platform is a "downgrade".
Actually, for my usage, it isn't even clear that going from 3g to 4g would be an upgrade. I realize everyone is different, but while I use my phone a lot, I don't do a lot of things that require huge amounts of bandwidth. Faster is faster, but 4g also has a huge downside in that it eats up battery life. The marginal benefit I'd derive from the increased bandwidth probably wouldn't outweigh the marginal cost in battery life.
There are actually a lot of things I like about the Galaxy Nexus over the iPhone 4S, but 4g isn't a significant one.
Also, there are a lot of good reasons for wanting to be up on the latest version of an OS beyond just wanting the newest shiny thing - not the least of which being that the current situation exacerbates the problem of fragmentation in the Android ecosystem. I guess I don't understand why you're trying to defend Google's update strategy (or lack thereof) - there's really nothing good about the current situation.