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Ok, sorry, all of you saying "don't buy ATI" are weak.
All ATI cards up to the Radeon 9200 are supported by the DRI. There are a couple (important) aspects to those cards for which ATI didn't provide docs, such as HyperZ and fragment programs. HyperZ has been reverse engineered and implemented in the DRI drivers. Fragment programs have been 90% reverse engineered, and are one developer's pet project. He will almost certainly have them finished soon.
r300+ chipsets are being very quickly reverse engineered. So, I recommend this: Either buy cards <= Radeon 9200, and write ATI & NV and tell them that you would have bought a $200 card, except they didn't provide free, complete docs for them, or buy a card > Radeon 9200 and help with the reverse engineering. (Or, if you own an NV card get off your butt and start reverse engineering.)
A modern graphics card is basically a second, specialized CPU... and what sort of fool would buy a CPU from AMD or Intel without proper documentation? No one, other than your Packard-Bell using grandma. Get a clue, and don't buy undocumented hardware unless you intend to reverse engineer it... no matter what lame "not our IP" excuses the companies might make, and no matter how fast the undocumented card is!!!
The DRI desperately needs a new vram memory manager, and that is being worked on. After than, the drivers are going to rock. (They already do.) Don't bitch, help.
p.s. Even Windows users should be pushing for Free Software drivers from the card manufacturers... I don't know why you trust benchmarks without them.