I've spoken with enough people in testing and been around long enough that I've been able to isolate out five seperate stages in how a QA department is perceived.
1) Unnecessary Evil. "I don't need testing... I can find my own problems..."
2) Assholes. "Those assholes found problems with my stuff!"
3) Necessary Evil. "Yeah, they find problems before they go out, but they're still evil...let's segregate them, or make them work harder for their bugs by not giving them all the information they need."
4) Grudging Respect. "Okay, they've helped out quite a bit, and they know their stuff, but they're still not at our level."
5) Peers. "Hey, let's gets test input to see if there are any problems with this design before we start coding."
What stage is your department at?