To start off, in my opinion AMD should just stick with server processors and graphics cards.
bad idea... These are both pretty much opposite ends of the high performance market, and they are not the areas where hi volume sales are made. The idea for any company such as AMD is to sell their name based on their high end products, and have that trickle down to more average users.
The big money is in OEM contracts. Dell, Gateway, HP, etc... is were the money is. What OEMs are looking for is not a single good (or even great) component, but a platform. OEMs love stuff like Intel's Centrino.
They also need to work on better marketing for their cards.
This has always plagued both AMD and ATI. Bringing them together hasn't cured that. Remember, you're talking about the company that brought us the 'Sempron'. Which, IMO, was probably one of the best budget chips ever, but was cursed with an almost unmarketable name.
That said, ATI has definitely shown a more effective use of launch strategy with the 4800 series. The early launch of the 4850 was a good move, and showed they were ready to play rough this round. They have also worked the paper launch of the 4870X2 very much to their advantage. They have managed to make themselves the current darling of the review world. The only thing that could possibly break the 4870X2 would be poor driver support, but their PR/marketing dept has done a solid job of building buzz around the X2.
I guess we'll find out how long this shift of power can last.
Well, I certainly wouldn't count NV out too soon. ATI better be prepared for NV's next architecture. If history has taught us anything, it's that neither ATI or NV like losing. There doesn't seem to be anything that motivates either company like a year of egg on their face.