Personally I'm surprised at how well the R9700 launch went.. of course people are posting at rage3d about their problems, but where else are they gonna post? They gonna e-mail ATi?(which is a joke.. no real person ever reads their support e-mail) ..
I know i've been visiting forums for video cards since I had my Voodoo3 .. and well every card I've seen has had problems at launch.. The ones that REALLY stick out as the problematic cards were the GF1 and Radeon8500 ... otherwise you get the occasional: 'MY SYSTEM LOCKS UP!' or: 'MY SYSTEM WONT START' or my favorite: 'MY 3DMARK SCORE IS TOO LOW' ...
find any 3rd party nvidia card manufactuar's forums and you will see people having the same problems they have with R9700 .. most of them..
the AGP8X problem and people needing a new BIOS? Big deal.. I know Xabre wont even work in AGP4x .. and a bios update? what motherboard doesnt have bios updates? video cards/comptuers all together arent as simple as they use to be..
I honestly think the R9700 launch was great .. some problems but they can be expected ..
people who own GF4s shouldnt even think about buying the R9700 though.. R9700 is ALOT faster.. but FFS your GF4 isnt fast enough? im sorry.. but anyone who even considers it is insane
and about drivers.. ati drivers are ALOT better, i could even say they are 'good' now.. but they deffinately arent perfect .. and only judging by the lack of complaints from GF4 owners I can say they arent as good as nvidia's drivers.. but they are functional and work right in MOST games without any hassle.. still though, if a new game comes out and it isnt coded by john carmack, i can say from the start my radeon will have SOME problem with it for a couple of days (if its a popular game) or a couple of months (if its a not so popular game)