The Radeon 5970 is still far faster than a GTX 480, if you can stomach the crazy cost. They lowered clockspeeds from the 5870 to 5850 level (though it's still a full GPU, they didn't disable any stream processors, TMUs etc.) and specifically binned low voltage GPUs to stay within the same thermal envelope as the 4870 X2 and GTX 295 (the dual GPU cards from previous generation). The result was a video card that is insanely fast with surprisingly tame power consumption.
The GTX 470 and 480 frankly don't offer enough of a boost over the Radeon 5850 and 5870 respectively to justify their higher price, higher power consumption, the additional heat and the noisy coolers IMO. One thing that impressed me was the new Anti-Aliasing techniques that Nvidia has introduced with the GTX 470 and 480, the quality was terrific. On another note though, the fact that they made no improvements to the Anisotropic Filtering has disappointed me (this is after AMD/ATI introduced what is close to perfect Anisotropic filtering with the Radeon 5xxx). Last, but most certainly not least, is the fact that you can't buy a Fermi video card yet. Nvidia is promising they'll be available in April. Paper launching a new generation of cards Nvidia? Big mistake.
With such high power consumption I'm really doubting Nvidia's ability to launch a dual-GPU version of Fermi to compete with the Radeon 5970, so this round has to go to AMD/ATI. I think it's fair to say that Fermi is a flop in the eyes of gamers and has not met expectations. AMD/ATI are probably very happy with the prices their cards are at right now, so I wouldn't count on any price cuts any time soon.
As for myself, I bought one of these
a while back.
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-GB; rv:188.8.131.52) Gecko/20100316 Firefox/3.6.2 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)
Core i7 920 | ASUS P6T Deluxe v2 | 3TB+ HDD | 12GB Corsair DDR3 | Radeon 4890 Xfire | X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty | Logitech Z-5500 Speakers | Dell 3008WFP | Seven RC1