Err. Read the code. xfs uses io completion callbacks and only relies on the contents of the journal after the completion returned. (xlog_sync()->xlog_bdstrat()->xfs_buf_iorequest()->_xfs_buf_ioend()).
jbd does something similar but I don't want to look it up unless youre really interested.
It worked a littlebit more like you describe before 2.6.37 but back then it waited if barriers were disabled.