I think Brent and Kyle (dont know so just my worthless 2 cents input) have been wanting to get away from the 3dMark thing for some time now.
If I should be so bold as to give my take on HardOCP's position...I can assure you that you are correct. We ( especially KYle ) have been unsatisfied with 3dMark's illustration of a real gaming environments for quite some time. Long before 3dMark2003 was in any appreciable form, Kyle was already contemplating an article to outline the points he has recently made. If you read the article
you will find that his points cover all benchmarks and do not solely attack 3dMark2003. Rather, the arrival of 3dMark2003 was merely a convenient means of emphasizing the points being made.
I honestly can't see why anyone would try to attack Kyle or HardOCP. At the end of the day, these articles and editorials are intended to benefit the consumer...For those grasping at straws and claiming that [H] is an NVIDIA-fanboy...I must remind you of the dozens of times [H] has been on NVIDIA's case for an issue. In addition, you might remember that Radeon 9700 Pro's are in each review testbed and that we were less than "blown away" ( ironic ) by the GeForce FX.
In my opinion, many of us need to take a few steps back and look at the big picture. We need to lose the delusions of conspiracies and shady partnerships and realize that the situation at hand is very black and white. You have a large website with a big name in your corner...trying to keep the big vendors honest and ensure you get the best quality for your dollar.
I trust that this will help clarify this situation and bit and put things in the proper perspective...