Nvidea and AMD only generally release something worthwhile two or three iterations into a new fabrication process. Anyone else remember that 4xxx beat the pants off of 3xxx, 5xxx was good and toasty, but 6xxx improved every single metric and even allowed some 6950s to unlock to a 6970?
Following the course of that logic, the 7xxx will incrementally improve over the 6xxx because of the new manufacturing tech. The real tangible improvements will be the 8xxx series, which is what I'm looking forward to seeing. Considering that new Nvidea GPUs are coming out still, the likelihood of seeing a new generation from AMD in the near future is...less than likely...
Nvidea is a more complex beast. The 2xx and 3xx series were absolute pigs. The 4xx series did very well, in my opinion of course. The 5xx series brought some good new ideas to the table, but you paid with insane heat and a less functional (for gamers, not computational enthusiasts) card than competing offerings. The 6xx is a return to form, and an excellent choice if you're in the market right now. At the time though, pricing and the fact that the cards seem to be holding back make it difficult to want to spend any money on any options.
Waffling, yeah. I have 6950s in my current rigs. Excellent for the, now declining, price point. They use a bit more power, but outstrip consoles in so many ways that it isn't funny. Consoles make development easier, and are a way to "make sure" that games earn money. They're a necessary evil, and so is the nature of the ever degrading comparative performance to the PC. That said, we've reached the point where any optimization by consoles is easily trumped by brute force on the PC. I can't see any reason to buy either Nvidea or AMD products until the situation resolves itself.
-Barring building new systems of course.-
You haven't seen anything until you've seen this.
Wow! I didn't know the blue screen of death could get a blue screen of death.