Okay, misunderstood @jitters test - I see what we're dealing with now. Let us put our handbangs back down and chill :)
Honestly, it feels pretty weird that jQuery is replicating a bug in IE, but I can understand there's been more than a quick pint and chat about that decision.
The way I see it, is there's two good ways to approach this rather specific, but obtuse bug:
1. a touch more detail in the exception description ("the type cannot be changed" - I just figured it was the usual crap that IE errors throw "there was an error in the script", etc) - or at least a link pointing to /why/ it's like that (not just to the .attr api docs, at least to an anchor point in the page).
2. As Dave suggested, clone the element and replace it. I don't see this as a terrible idea, it certainly fixes an age old issue in IE, rather than replicating one.
Either way, Rick's marked it as #patchwelcome, so it's all fair game.