I plan on upgrading my 9800GT sometime around the new year (sometime in the next few weeks). I plan to spend around $200, but am willing to go up to around $250 if it's worth it. I don't like rebates too much, so I don't take them into account when considering this price, but they can be a nice side benefit. This GPU will be used mainly for gaming - some of my games are Fallout 3/New Vegas, Lord of the Rings Online, Starcraft II, and The Orange Box.
My PSU is brand new (ie not upgrading anytime soon), OCZ ModXStream 600W. Other specs are a Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3GHz, Asus P5Q-SE2 mobo, 6GB DDR2-667 memory. I'm going to get a new case so airflow won't be an issue then. My monitor's resolution is 1680x1050, but I may upgrade to a 1080p one later.
My preferred retailer is NewEgg, but I'm willing to go other places if there's a good enough deal. I also live in the USA, and have no unusual preferences for my cards (although things like better/quieter cooling on the card and lifetime warranties are always nice) I won't be doing SLI or Crossfire, at least not at the moment because my current mobo only has 1 PCI-e slot. I don't care about Physx, 3d, multiple monitors, or branding.
Alright then, it seems that unless there's a sudden jump in price, I'll be buying that 5850 in the next couple of weeks. Thanks everyone! However, if anyone has anything else to say, I'd still be happy to hear it.