I guess the distinction that people are making is that ATi bought ready made technology and shoe horned it into a PC chip. nVidia, on the other hand, bought the rights to a whole load of theoretical technologies and had to do their design from the ground up.
An interesting aside, if JC has built the NV30 backend to DoomIII then what did he use as a reference when he did the programming? Has he now got a version of the NV30 to play with?
Folding for Beyond3D
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
Sir Winston Churchill
"Halflife2 got halfway around the world before Gabe had a chance to get his pants on."