It seemed to me that i810 was fine up until Intel got involved with it. I have an unusual chipset (855GM on a desktop with no LVDS output), and new versions of Intel drivers keep totally failing to work on it in various exciting ways. Before Intel engineers started showing up on xorg bugzilla (i.e. when the module was called 'i810' instead of 'intel'), this happened once in a blue moon and I got responsive, polite fixes reasonably quickly. Now, it happens constantly, and I have to beat the engineers over the heads just to stop them closing a bug with comments which more or less translate to "we can't be bothered, sod off". When bugs do get fixed, it tends to take them a respectable fraction of a year to do it.
Interacting with Intel engineers on xorg bugzilla has sort of made me yearn for the days when GNU/Linux hardware drivers were crappy, desperate efforts slapped together with enormous difficulty without any specifications to work from.