Well every one only pays attention to the core temp but I will try to point out areas to touch.
Do you see the banks of resistors that are arranged in squares behind each vram module on the back side of the pcb as shown in the pick? Those area can be touched during use load up furmark or some other stress bench. These areas should not be scolding hot but rather lukewarm at the most and no hotter than the core at the extreme.
Now towards the rear of the card ware the chokes, capacitors, and mosfets are located. This area to can be touched except for one small area and apply no pressure unless on a blank area of the pcb. If this area is scolding hot it is nothing new but if it is to hot to hold your finger even for a very short period of time then you may need to look into providing extra cooling. However if there are areas that are both extremely hot then the space next to it underneath a choke or power vrm phase for the gpu and is cold then there might be a issue.
I typically try to find and rule out problems before any thing like this comes up so I have yet to have a card fail on me in years except for a 9800 pro aiw as that card was hopeless.
Don't touch the voltage controller at the very end of the card (the little square chip) if you do the card will power off without the system shutting down acting like a kill switch.