Originally Posted by vampireuk
I'm willing to sacrifice some performance for a card with drivers that just works
That's an understatement when your talking about Half Life 2. Here is a good example.
The 9800XT is over twice
as fast as the 5950 in DirectX 9. Even the 9600XT can spit out a playable framerate where the 5950 can't. I would highly recommend you look for a 6800le or wait for the 6600GT. Otherwise stick with the 9700 and live with the crappy Catalyst.