Having worked on Notes for more than 20 years, I do not think IBM will give up Notes. At least I hope so
First of all, IBM has changed the name of it : Lotus Notes has become IBM Notes. This doesn't sound as IBM will put it away.
When I attend User workshops I do not have the feeling Notes is old fashioned.
But what is true is that not a lot of companies / people are using it.
This is also true that lot of companies are moving to another platform.
Due to this there is a lack of skilled people on that field.
So planning a reconversion to this platform may not be a bad idea.
Check with a local IBM representative. You might be surprised.
From another point of view, it is true that web productions has a growth rate that pure Notes applications will never ever reach.
So XPages would be a good choice.
Regarding the download, IBM changed its policy and Notes client is no more downloadable unless as a trial version (time limited).
And by the way: "oldtimer" has nothing to do with skills and experience
Whishing you good luck.