I think my point was misunderstood- I was showing the pattern of leapfrogging. (Not that the GF2 was better than the Radeon, etc., more the other way around, mainly speaking of features, since performance usually ended up the other way, imo because of ATI's driver problems at the time).
I don't see the issue being a problem now:
As far as the fact that ATI got the Big One out before nVidia this time. This is arguable. ATI got the features / speed out first. nVidia is gonna get the features / speed, but ALSO the jump to the new process out first. ATI is looking to make that particular jump in the future, and I sincerely expect that when they do it'll be back to business as usual (meaning, just like GF2-> Radeon, ATI will probably have a feature or two that is above the current nV card, but the nV will have the performance crown still..)
Guess we'll have to wait on the last one. Partly because it's still a vaporware product on nV's part, and partly because until both execute their future products beyond R300 and nV30, we just can't know. Unless someone here's got a REAL Crystal Ball.
BTW. The fact that nV had GF2 / GF3 out first (big leaps, really, over prior products), that didn't kill ATI did it? In fact, look at the R9700 as proof. Just because ATI did it this time doesn't prove anything at all for the future.
(PS. This series of posts has practically nothing to say about what I think of the 9700- I'd probably jump on the Pro in a heartbeat if I had the money right now. Of course, if I could afford to do that, I'd probably jump ship again as soon as nV's next card came out, since always having the latest and greatest is neat, just not feasible for me.