Hey, if you can't tell the difference between 2xAA and 4xAA, or between 4x AF or 16x AF... then hey, GF4 MX460 forever!
Personally, my 8500 is lethargic to me. The difference in playability between UT and UT2003 is night and day, which is a shame because UT2003 really doesn't look that much better (and it sure as hell doesn't have better gameplay, but that's another thread) it just runs a lot slower. I can run 16x AF and 2x AA in UT with very smooth framerates (60+ in all cases), but UT2003 I have to lower AF and disable AA, that at only 1024 x 768, and run mediocre world detail, normal texture detail, and low player detail... and it's still too jerky for me to be the accuracy king that I was in UT. In fact, I just finished playing one game of UT after a couple of hours of UT2003, and the difference is simply amazing... UT must be three times faster (framerates) from what it feels like. OK, my rant got a little OT here, but I'm fairly dissapointed by this game I waited so long for. If someone doesn't write an "old skool" mod for it before long, I'll just go back to playing UT.
Back on topic: if you can't tell the difference in IQ using AA and AF at decent resolutions or high resolutions in DX7 games, then that's all fine and well. But what about DX8? We don't even have a real DX8 game yet, and I would be willing to bet that the R9700 isn't overkill when pixel and vertex shaders actually get used heavily. In fact, it would probably struggle in DX8 games a year or two from now at high resolutions, much less with AA on. If anything, we need IHV's to keep pushing performance up and up and up, not only so that we can turn on high detail textures, high resolutions, and high degrees of AA and AF, but also so that advanced features like 128 bit color, fp color, displacement mapping, and pixel shading will be fast enough to actually code games around.
IMO, Mr. Derek Smart is a hypocrite: Only someone who is either (a) lying (b) ashamed of their products (c) just plain ashamed, would hestitate to give out some simple and straight forward information. - Derek Smart, Ph.D.