Ah come on the only reason it was in stock is he got lucky and caught it at a good time. Sapphire is known to have good, reliable products. I've been buying them for years. Let me guess .. you're what .. an XFX fanboy maybe?
im not sure if sapphire is still the cheapest... but yea i got a sapphire 4850 (the cheapest company making them) and this thing still chugs out all i need. go cheapest :\ does not really make a difference. its like choosing the same coffee but from starbucks's 2 blocks away from each other. you are still going to get the same coffee...
and btw: there is a huge misconception that evga is somehow the best brand to get - this is false. from personal experience of my friends with cash they have had more evga cards that needed to be RMA than any other card. do not buy the most expensive thinking it will be superior quality - especially when it comes to evga...
Since they are all reference design for the moment, they are essentially the same but they came with different bundles and different warranty and different customer service center and sometimes slightly different price like $10 different only and sometimes with free shipping.
For the Lifetime warranty, it depends on where you live. In North America, XFX, EVGA, BFG and Visiontek would offer you lifetime warranty but if you are in Europe or Asia, they won't. Anyway, since you were looking at Newegg (website for North American customers), I would assume you are living in North America so if you go with brands like XFX or Visiontek, you would get a lifetime warranty while Sapphire would offer you 2 free games instead of 1 and HIS would offer you 1 game included HIS Toolkit. It is up to you to decide what bundles and what warranty you want and which customer service you trust the most and what price and shipping cost you prefer.
Please also note that XFX has the highest rate in reselling because they just don't offer lifetime warranty but double lifetime warranty so the warranty could be pass to the second-hand buyer and this is why XFX could be a good choice especially in case if you are interested in reselling your video card later.
There's another relevant point to consider. Ever been in a situation where you call tech support for ya MoBo and they blame ya video card ..... ever call for ya vid card and they blame MoBo ? Well if tey same manufacturer, you can tell them to stuff that argument.
Not something I'd say is a "must do" but worthy of consideration....BTDT mor than once.