Meh, I don't think there are any real heat issues. Just perceived ones. And I've pushed mine to the limit. Including running Shogun 2 on a mix of mostly low, but a few medium settings. If I drop all settings to low the highest temp I see holds around 89-93 after the temps spike and the fans kick in. I no longer worry about heat.
Back on topic. I do love my Early 2011 MBP 13. If I could only have one computer it would be this one. Even though my main criticisms are the low resolution and the lack of a discrete GPU.
The value is there, memory and HDD can be bumped. The speed on the CPU is great and battery life is pretty darn good too.
I've considered just buying every major refresh then sell the old one. I'd take a couple hundred dollar hit every year, but it's a business expense for me so I don't really care. With that said I'm concerned that we've probably seen the last 13" MBP. I kind of hope I'm wrong though. If they do come out with a new 13" MBP then I have to decide if I'm going to upgrade.
But most likely I'm moving to a combo next refresh. Probably an 11" MBA and a loaded Mac mini, or possibly an 11" MBA and a couple homebrew Mini-ITX computers I'd keep mounted on the back of portable monitors, when I really need the horsepower. Time will tell, most likely I'll wait until the next major refresh of the MBP and MBA lines.
In all honesty though I could could be quite comfortable on my current MBP for the next 3-4 years.
my combo is the mbp and the 2010 mac mini ~~ the last one with the super drive. my main business use on each is writing so i have office 2011 on the mbp running lion and use office for word. on the mini i have office 2004 for word running snow leopard. i work between each since my word.doc files are compatible. i paid 800 for my mbp as an open box at best buy ~~ a real steal. and the mini was FREE usjng amex points. i also have an ipad2 and an hp touchpad bought during the firesale. my wife has a 27 inch imac and an ipad2 all on a wifi network. hanging around is asus netbook, an hp laptop with vista, a windows 7 home theater computer, 2 ipod touches, a few imac power pcs etc- need to unload some.