ICS looks pretty sweet, can't we just hang onto that for a while?
Seems odd. Your premise appears to be "our carriers aren't updating our devices in a timely fashion, so Google should stop innovating so that nobody gets better software"? Why do you think that if Android updates were only pushed every 12-18 months, the device update situation would get any better? If anything, it would be worse, as OEMs would just take the position that a device isn't worth creating an OS update for, since by the time the next major version is out, people will be out of contract and so upgrade their phones.
The other thing you have to ask yourself is, do you really need the latest OS? I'm on a N1 on 2.2, and don't see any need to upgrade. I've been using my wife's Galaxy Nexus, and whilst it's a nice phone, and ICS is neat, there's nothing compelling that I need or want that would change the use of my phone day to day. So do you need the latest updates? If you don't, but just want them because they're new, shiny and cool, how does that sit with your "please don't give us so many new and shiny updates" request?
You're also mis-using the phrase 'fragmentation'. Fragmentation is only a problem for app developers who don't want to support too many OS versions. At the moment, the majority of Android devices are running 2.x or 4.0 - there's almost no people running 1.x and 3.0 (from a percentage perspective). The big problem here is people like Samsung and HTC bringing out so many phones (literally 20-30 each quarter, amongst the top Android OEMs) - if they concentrated on a couple of devices they wouldn't be spread so thin.
What should really happen is that people should avoid buying devices with too many dumb OS customisations (Sense, TouchWiz, all that nonsense) and buy vanilla Android devices like the Nexii. Then OEMs would realise that what people want is Android, with no fettling, and that would make it easier/simpler (and hence quicker) for them to push OS updates.
So if you think ICS is sweet, nobody's forcing you to upgrade. Just wait for it and stick with it. Or, if you want it now just root and upgrade.
Edited by Webreaper, 24 February 2012 - 11:20 AM.