I was just thinking about this the other day.
How long has the 9700 pro been out? It must be over a year now. Think how long ATI have had the crown - and think what an amazing graphics card was available such a long time ago.
It's not often in the computing world that a new component will come out and last as long as this - still costing upwards of £230.
Really is amazing. Ok the 9800 pro is a bit better (but not that much) and finally Nvidia have the top end cards that are slightly better but it still holds it's weight (and it's price) really well.
Just thought I'd share my ponderings and see who agrees