I'd rather be safe than sorry for my 400-500 dollar investement ya know. For a lot of people, especially the younger people, 400-500 dollars is A LOT of money to invest in a videocard.
I could care less if it was $100 or $500. The flickering is so annoying I'd send it back regardless of the price. In fact, for a flickering 5900, I would pay no more than $25... and then keep it around as a novelty or test item. Of course, I also wouldn't pay more than $50 for a 9800 Pro, given the crashes it gave me on older games. We can't win people. The only thing you can do is buy a top of the line Geforce4 with no crashes and no flicker, and just grin and bear it.
Personally, I've settled down for the waiting game. I'll buy the first *new* Nvidia card that DOES NOT FLICKER, regardless of the price!