Just returned the Sapphire 7950 I bought a few weeks ago, contemplating picking up another one. The one I had had tons of artifacting issues during gaming, and it seems like a common problem with this card. They can't ALL be bad, though... hmm. Didn't get any game bundles when I bought it, either.
Aww dude, wish you still had that original card, just to test a theory!
Listen folks, if you get one of these cards - any AMD card, in fact - and get serious artifact issues I recommend you do a COMPLETE removal of the drivers (manually, Driver Sweeper or whatever it's called that people recommend doesn't work anymore without purchasing it, don't waste your time) and try running version 12.8 without the CCC component installed and see what happens. Haven't tried 13.1 yet to see if they unfcuked things or not, but I will say I installed a later driver, had crazy artifact issues, got scared my card was trashed, took a deep breath, uninstalled the new stuff, reinstalled 12.8 and all was good once again.
As far as the Nvidia troll goes, he doesn't understand the concept of value because he hasn't mentioned the extremely limited OC ability of the 600 series cards compared to AMD's lineup. What's sad is this is an intentional move by Nvidia - they've essentially locked the voltage on their cards to "save" the end user. Heh, thanks but no thanks and fcuk you, Nvidia. Their high end cards are more energy efficient, and their software is light years ahead of the POS that is CCC, but neither of these points is enough to compete with the raw power and bang-for-buck AMD brings to the table right now.
Last thing, if you're going to pull the trigger definitely get the Sapphire, or another non-reference cooler design. The reference design is LOUD. It's loud on the GTX 670 and it's absurdly, laughably and intolerably loud on the 7970. When I say loud I don't mean marginally more audible than case fans, I mean Shop Vac sitting on your desk. I wish they'd do away with this type of shroud entirely. Sapphire Dual-X should be bearable despite the hefty task of cooling a power-hungry OC'd 7950, though.