I dont think their current line lacks the technology to be good at DX9.
I maybe reading between the lines here, but it seemed the 9700 ran the DX9 scene's PS 1.4 shaders as PS1.4. It seems the GF-FX had some problem with this, and so promoted all the shaders to PS2.0, which is why it seems to run like a dog compared to the 9700 in the pixel shader category.
If some companies get some decent quiet cooling solutions on the gf-fx, then I'll probably consider getting one. I think given a few months for drivers to mature, we'll see it pull ahead from the 9700 alot more.