I would go with your second set of choices (ATI: 5870 & 6870) and base the decision on a cost/bundle/warranty basis if it was me. For preference I would want a 5870 as its the better performer but AMD have a habit of charging stupid money for older cards these days and I don't know just how much I would value the older card at. Having just looked on Newegg and seen its approx $20 more for the 5870 I would go for that.
yeah, the gtx 470 is not my top choice( btw i was thinking of an aftermark cooler for it)
At the end of the day, i think im leaning toward the 6870/6950
I haven't bought ATI in a long(10+ years) time...
Where do they stand as far as brands(Saphire, AMD, PowerColor, ect..) Any warranty better than others, brands to stay away from?
However, you can get it a little cheaper elsewhere.
Whether you go nVidia or ATI I don't have any brand loyalty to be honest. As long as you stick with a larger manufacturer you shouldn't really have any problems. So tout Lifetime warranties and things, but honestly that's only useful if you intend to have the video card a long time.
Here is a 6950 review http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/Radeon_HD_6950/1... take a look at the performance then price up the 6950/6870/5870 and decide if you really want the lower performance of the 6870 or really want to pay the extra for the 6950 when the 5870 has such good performance and pricing in comparison.
Im basing this on the driving games in the review by the way.