The card is already boxed for return to newegg, but I will definitely try Republic Commando out once I get my replacement. I never replayed that on my 8800GTX so I guess I was oblivious to its graphic anomalies.
As for FurMark, there isn't anything special about this except that it exposes the overheating problem so quickly (less than a minute after booting WinXP from cold start) to remove complaints about poor airflow or high ambient temps. The card also overheats in Oblivion, Crysis, or rthdrbl too, they just take 5-10 minutes versus the 1 minute on FurMark. Actually in Crysis or Oblivion the card starts to throttle and give extremely jerking gameplay (full fps, slow to 10-15fps, full fps, slow to 10-15 fps, repeat) similar to comments made by another reviewer in one of the GTX 280 reviews I read over tha past week. MikeC from nVNews also said that he noticed a similar problem on the nVidia reference card, but he figured it was a fluke since the eVga he swapped in worked better.
Currently theories are that a bad batch slipped through nVidia and there may be poor contact between the silicon and the heat spreader. Thus even though there is good contact between the heatsink and the heat spreader, the silicon beneath still overheats. Either way I knew that the GTX 280 was going to run hotter than my 8800GTX with a HR-03 plus, but hitting 100C+ on a brand new $670 card is ridiculous.