I understand where you are coming from. I used to run IT at a company, and had to make many of these "awful" decisions. Being given a budget of $10k to upgrade computers for 30 people, and a server -- there's not a whole lot you can do.
It is very hard to upgrade a platform in a company, I'm not saying it isn't. Also, as IT you are required to inherit all the problems of everyone at the company when it comes to using a computer.
I do, however, feel it is the job of IT to pitch as hard as they can to management. They should explain how outdated IE6 really is. How many mainstream sites have already dropped support. If there is a legacy application that requires IE6 to run, it probably isn't being maintained well.
It should be the job of IT, if it makes sense, to push for these types of changes.
It was wrong of me to say IT is lazy if you still have IE6, I should have said the company doesn't have it's head on straight.
If you have 30 employees, and their computers slow them down by approximately 10%. Every week (assuming an average 50k salary each) this is costing the company about $3k every week in productivity (given quite a few assumptions).
At a very minimum, why can't employees use an alternate browser? If it is such a problem to get, lets say Chrome, on company computers -- maybe there's a way to fix that (besides installing the Chrome Frame in IE6).
While it may be easier to continue to support IE6 / XP, I feel any company still looking to use IE6 as a primary browser should take a second look. That shouldn't necessarily be at IT, but whatever restriction isn't allowing a company to upgrade to free software almost 10 years later.