With this latest "announcement", who knows what will happen to prices in September.. but I would say that the only reason to shell out for a 9800 would be if you were going to really
go large and get the 256 meg version. That way you could try to pretend it was going to be the last video card you were ever going to buy, what with 256 megs of RAM and all..
OTOH, in 128 meg cards, I can tell you that I have been absolutely 100% blown away by the sheer awesomeness of my 9700 Pro. I feel like it was a very good value, even at the rather steep $450CDN I paid for it, and that's saying something, because I'm a stingy bastard. Looking at numbers on the web, it seems as though the performance difference between it and the 128 meg 9800 is generally only a few meagre FPS, and doesn't seem to warrant the extra cost. I haven't even touched overclocking yet, because I haven't seen the need so far. This thing is just a beast right out of the box. Assuming you have a decent CPU to pair it with, it's guaranteed to please if your migrating from 7500 land, that's for sure!
I might be buying a CPU or two in the future, but I really don't expect this card to be giving me any problems I can't live with until we're dealing with games using heavily re-written DIII tech. All pretty subjective, of course, but that's certainly what I'm hoping..
I guess if you can overclock a 9600 Pro (is there such a thing?) to 9700 Pro levels, then it would be a helluva good bargain indeed! But I know nothing of those cards, so I really can't comment.
I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.