goes the gold fingers look like this? http://www.google.com/imgres?q=pcie+e+connector&um=1&hl...
if so thats how it comes. you didnt do any damage...very few people actually notice this on their cards and when they do they usually think its due to damage but really that is how it is designed.
or better yet look at the pic on newegg and look at the gold pins zoom in and tell me if it looks like that
oh ok I see man you really did nick a pin off of there...howd you do that lol? that must have taken some precision....do you still have the pin or is that long gone? Is the video card under warranty? if not you are pretty much SOL these things you cant really fix
depends on your budget....I would say a 680 would be the best but a 670 OC is like only 5% slower in games and is $100 less so it would be a much better bang for your buck. the 7970 is a good card too but I would get a 680 or a 670 over it any day....and if you go the 680 route dont get the 4gb its a waste of money.