These would be my picks:XFX Double D Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB ($339 / $319 with rebate) FREE Shippinghttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150605ASUS Direct CUII Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB ($349 + $4.99 shipping) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121624&Tpk=asus%20hd%207870
These both have non-reference coolers and should have both good thermals and acoustics.
I think these are good because the next step up (HD 7950) is $50 to $60 more. Considering the performance increase between the two it is really debate-able if the extra $$$$ is worth it. When you reach the $400 price point then the focus should really shift to the GTX 670.
Right now Nvidia does not have anything to compete in the market segment of the HD 7870 for the price (unless you look at older technology). I am not so sure that the GTX 660 will be the answer either as from what I understand it is only going to have 1.5GB of ram which I think will be a turn off for some. However I am sure some vendors will offer GTX 660s with additional RAM (at an additional cost).
Of the two 7870 cards I listed above I think XFX is by far the better bargain.