As now fastest Athlon 1.4Ghz selling at $140 (less than slowest P4 1.3Ghz!) it is the best time buying Athlon 1.4Ghz.
As Athlon 1.4 = P4 2 Ghz in performance
and Athlon 1.4($140) <<< P4 in price($500=).And further pricecut is not expected as then AMD could die.
Without the SSE instructions, the TBird will be lagging quit far behind the P4 in some of the most SSE optimized applications (professional software mostly I think). I wouldn't equate the TBird performance to a P4 in such a general way. But the Palomino, with the SSE support should close the gap significantly where the PR rating may start to make sense (if AMD makes an honest effort to accurately access the relative performance differences). Just my humble opinion.
FWIW, I think AMD will be honest in their PR rating. Their past actions speak well for them. AMD seems like an honest, fair, and upfront company.