So today I accepted the new job!
Yesterday after meeting with my 2 bosses they tried very hard to get me to stay by matching and coaxing me with growth opportunity to move up and lead the development team. It sounded good at the time and I was receptive to the idea but I had some time to think through the night and most of this morning.
The fact of the matter is, my department (and I) was suffering here for two reasons. One, the nature of the business is we create custom software for clients as they dictate. Many of these need ongoing long term support and I was the guy who had to do that for 9, 10, 11... live pieces of software at this point. The other reason is that management staffed our team with cheap inexperienced workers. We're all in our early-mid 20s, and only myself and one (as of today ex) co-worker has any real dev skills. Managing a team of developers is something that interests me greatly, but not this team.
On top of all that, and this is a point many of you have made, I felt like to take a counter and "possibly" a greater role would feel like twisting arms, and I did not want to be like that and have that bad vibe around the office.
I had to fight the recruiter woman every step of the way, but in the end, she was indeed just a car salesman-like flunkie trying to make her dollar. I blew off all 4 of her deadlines for a decision, DEMANDED she send me the written offer, and accepted when I was good and ready.
Very happy right now, time to celebrate!