Well, it's only 2 weeks away from christmas, and nVidias flagship card is still the 8800GTX (or ultra, which is really not much different, just a little higher clock). Quite a long product cycle, but that is the result of lack of competition on their so-called rival, ATI. Yep, ATI has been left in the dust, and it's left nVidia an opportunity to just sit back and ask people for $500+ for a card that is now over a year old and not exactly handing the latest DX10 games that well at higher settings and/or resolutions.
I myself learned this sore truth after I upgraded to a very top-of-the-line PC to play some of these newer DX10 games, just to learn that even the 8800GTX that costed me big bucks, wasn't giving me big performance. People are playing at higher resolutions these days, and new games at these resolutions demand newer cards. It won't take long for the curious mind to go run a google search about how the 8800 series is handling the latest DX10 games with rather poor performance. One of these newer games is Crysis, which is taking a harsh beating from critics for it's performance, but the reality is that these over-priced 8800GTX cards just aren't cutting it, and it's time for a new line.
The blame, in my opinion, rests solely on nVidia right now, as they try to further cash in. Instead of putting out a great new single-card option, they can just tell everyone "Hey, go Tri-SLI, buy 3 8800 Ultras for $1600, and you'll have great performance!". No thanks nVidia, you're effectively killing the gaming market with these ridiculous tactics. I thought it was ridiculous when enthusiast cards were breaking $300 a while back, but now they want people to shell out all of that dough for SLI and Tri-SLI rigs? I should be fair though and say ATI is no saint, as they are pulling the same crap with the crossfire.
These companies are just trying to see how much they can milk the enthusiast market. That's right people, you want to max out your game quality and have a high resolution? Better take out a loan. Shame on these companies asking $500-550 MSRP for this card. I'd give it a negative 5 if I could.