This is an interesting problem. From the application developer view we must archive because the database will be quicker with fewer records.
From a business view, they want to see the old data for as long as possible. Archiving might remove the those records and some other means have to be build to access the archived records (view only)
The DBA want to satisfy both. Running 2005 Standard I have looked at partitioning but recently read it cant be implemented with Standard only for Enterprise edition. (Correct me on this)
I looked at moving the archived records to a second data base with reporting build on it for accessing the old data. (This sounds like a lot of work)
We will upgrade to 2008 standard before Feb next year so that might influence the solution.
What I would like to hear is ideas on how you have solved this dilemma.