If the 8800GT is a 256MB version, the situation is more complicated, but as long as the 8800GT is 512MB, it will be better than the 9600GT, though the 9600GT is by no means shabby.
Agreed. I own a 9600gt and it plays anything I wish. at the time I bought it, the price was very attractive for the performance. However, after price reductions across the board, there are stronger cards for a little more than the $150 I paid for it.
If you can spend $200, I would go for either an 8800gts 512mb or something in that range. the 9800gtx is around $200 too and performs similar to the 8800gts.