All your buddies did clean installs of for their cards right?
Because if they didn't then that was their problem not ati's drivers.
Just for your info, I've used tnt2, g2gts, g2mx400, g4ti4200 and g4ti4400 and have had major infinite loop problems, bsods, and games simply not working correctly without tweaks, like ds, gc, and tribes2. so in my opinion ati has better drivers and cheaper and faster cards with more features. Take that joint and smoke it.