In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has changed its mind and decided to give participants of the "Windows 7 Beta Program" a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate after all, according to the Windows 7 Team Blog: "To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. For more information on how to take advantage of this, refer to Paul's post in the .Beta_Program newsgroup for details." The date in question is August 6, the same day MSDN and TechNet subscribers get the RTM build.
It should be emphasized that this offer isn't available to those who tested the beta and RC build when they were released to the public. This offer is only for testers that were invited into the beta program.