As Scott explained in some other post, the 1.8 branch is the one in which new features will be added. The dev (1.7) branch will only receive fixes or minor improvements. So the fact that the 1.8 branch exists does not really mean 1.7 will be move out of beta soon. It only means 1.7 won't receive any new features from now on.
In my opinion, 1.7 needs to stay beta for a while. However, it also needs to get at least one important bugfix merged ASAP: http://www.question2answer.org/qa/41075 . I'd create beta-2 with that bugfix (and a few more low priority ones) and then leave it again for a while in beta. By the way, it doesn't matter whether you call the code "beta" or not... it just matters how buggy it actually is :P