The 2007 product is definitely more flexible than the 2003 product and I just looked at the "save as" Excel map in 2007 to confirm that you can send text fields. There are a number of more "easy to use" abilities of 2007 over 2003 so Iwould think it worth the upgrade. Of course, now that 2010 is out, I would suggest that if you have to pay for a new license anyways. But, 2007 should accomplish what you are wanting much more easily.
You might try the "save as" in 2003 as an Excel file and see if that brings up a map for you to select your own fields. I had to remove 2003 last month from my computer (and we don’t have it on our servers anymore either) when I went to 2010 so I can’t test that product anymore. Sorry.