If you are smart enough to know what you are doing and not yet suffering from arthritis you can rout the sata cables right under the card with a little room to spare. I also agree that the connectors are oddly placed but if you build the machine you shouldn't have to many issues. As for the case you can fit cards that are 8800gtx size (10.5in) but it wont fit any much larger like a vintage 7900gtx duo or the equally massive 5970.
correct my friend im glad someone responded so I can pick a best answer and thanks for the pic's for reference for anyone else having this dilemma
just fyi I didn't have to mess with my sata's at all unplug them at all or anything it just sits straight ontop of the sata ports.