The NV30 PS performance *is* pathetic, want it or not. That's the main reason while I have, a few months ago, gone from "The NV30 isn't all that great, but it's still quite good." to "The NV30 isn't good."
Using the 42.68 drivers yes, PS2.0 performance _was_ crap.
Regardless of the IQ implications, the PS2.0 performance using the latest 43.45 drivers in 3dmark03 supasses the 9700 now.
They can probably get it faster too.