Hi Terry Makedon here and I am the Manager of Software Product Management at AMD (former ATI). I will assume you don't work for AMD since your viewpoints are absolutely contradictory to our position on the topic of Vista. Here at AMD we don't believe driver development for Vista is a nightmare. In fact I have polled many Software Engineers and Architects within AMD and they thought developing Vista drivers was quite a satisfying experience. Sure it's a new driver model and a great amount of code had to be written but it's not inherently more difficult to write or validate than the XP driver was. Granted, if you start late and don't have adequate amount of time to plan, execute, and validate then everything will seem relatively difficult and the resulting quality will suffer. This is true for any software development project. At AMD we feel that we started the project early enough and planned for it thoroughly and in fact our software engineers delivered a solid driver that made the marketing promises very easy to fulfill.
On top of that it is incorrect to assume that quality can be built into any software product in a hurry after the first release. In many cases, the initial design, if rushed, would result in an inherently unstable pieces of software that cannot be fixed by solely debugging after the fact. At least not in a hurry. In such cases, it would take a major redesign to raise the quality up to an acceptable level.
My advice: I strongly encourage everyone to upgrade to Vista, and with Catalyst you can expect a great experience and easy upgrade. Worldwide press have praised us on the AERO experience we help deliver, the top notch stability and gaming performance that is very close and often surpasses XP performance. In fact Rahul Sood (president and CEO of VoodooPC) wrote this in his blog today "One could probably assume that ATI's tight support for Vista may have a significant market ripple somewhere down the line - but that's just a guess." Source: http://www.rahulsood.com/2007/02/ati-kung-fu-bette r-than-nvidia.html