Ok, ATILover, I owned both Radeon 64 VIVO (still do in my secondary rig) and an Asus GF3 (V8200 Deluxe) and have to say that the GF3's IQ was every bit as good as the Radeon's EXCEPT one game where Nvidia screwed the pooch big time. Commanche vs. Hokum suffered terribly from the switch to GF3. Even today on my GF4 Ti4400, Nvidia hasn't done anything for the HORRIBLE dropped textures and flashing pixels. Now according to the support line for the game, they blamed Windows XP saying that the game wasn't meant to be played on that platform. That's complete BS as I have both a Radeon 64 VIVO and a GF2MX400 in other rigs running WinXP that run the game just fine.
But that was they ONLY game that suffered any form of problem at all. Everything else I have played on my GF3 was faster, cleaner IQ and generally LESS buggy then my Radeon could manage. I bought my GF3 less then a month after it became available through Monarch Computers and still love the card completely. Admittedly my GF4 blows it away, and supposedly the 9700 blows that away, but I'll stick with what I've got till NV30. To this day, I've never had an out of the box problem with Nvidia cards (except the one game that hates newer NV cards).
My job is building, repairing and upgrading PCs all day long and have to say that from a larger scale perspective, that Nvidia's newer cards are generally more stable in a production enviorment overall. ATI makes some killer products (original Radeon, 8500, 9700), and I usually take the underdog's side, but not this time. Experience has shown where to spend my duckies.
Athlon 64 3400+ (OC to 2.4Ghz)
1Gb (2x512mb) Corsair XMS3200LL Pro (OC 440mhz)
MSI K8T Neo FIS2R
PNY Geforce 6800GT 256mb (OC 400/1.1Ghz)
2x 74Gb WD Raptor 10k RPM (RAID 0)
Plextor 708A DVD+/-RW
Aspire 520watt PSU
Thermaltake VM2000A Lanfire midtower
Windows XP Pro (SP-1) All drivers current (using XG 76.41 Forceware)