No, actually the praise should go to Sapphire since they are the ones who is adapting it to an AGP card.
Actually ATi/AMD announced future support for AGP and that the R600 line was interoperable with the Rialto chip about 2 months ago, so it wasn't an initiative of Sapphire's to 'adapt' to AGP. Their sole purpose is to make and sell what will still turn out to be a niche card.
The difference is that the volumes aren't enough so that there likely won't be any BBA cards coming out that suport AGP. With such a small market, it's better to leave that to the AIBs who can decide for themselves which ones are worth the cost. Just like passive heatsink, watercooling, etc. it's just another optional feature for AIBs to add to their list to differentiate themselves from each other.