Turn 1 - nVidia dropped g80 first
Turn 2 - nVidia released newer g architecture on lower end cards
Turn 3 - ATI dropped r600 with slightly better architecture than g80, but lower overall performance than g80.
What does this mean? We already know that nVidia is showing a hand for better architecture... they just need to put it on a higher aperature card. The technology *IS* already there. Right now, the only hand that ATI is showing is the r600... with *rumors* of r700 architecture. Given their horrible release schedule, and less than promising numbers... their rumors basically mean jack to all but the most blind of ATI fanboys.
Now... the thing that no one has been talking about is EVGA's step up program. With the step-up program, you can currently invest $530 in *THE* top of the line card WITH THE KNOWLEDGE that a bigger and better one is coming, and every cent of the money you spent will go toward a future purchase of architecture that's already been proven.
So... not only does nVidia currently win.... but there is basically a garaunteed return of investment out as well for the future. I don't see why anyone in their right mind would purchase an ATI HD2900XT.
and even with an "ebay step up" you don't get 100% return for your purchase.
That's true but on the other end you get the best market price for the new card. With EVGA you have to buy it from them.
I think the real advantage is that with the step up program you only have to produce the difference in cash--like $150. With ebay you have to pay full price for the new and then get most of your money back when you sell the old. That can be a problem if you don't have any savings or credit.