A lot of people will convert to black and white purely because this is an old trade. I didn't, I converted because it was a low colour image to begin with and I wanted to emphasize certain aspects of the image.
Shots like this do make me realize how much of an art black and white really is. I wish I could do images like this out of camera. I'd be very interested in something the size of a small DSLR body or even an evil camera that could do a dozen different types of black & white film and do that very well.