Actually, the 9800XT (ithink) is actually better than the X series and seconds to the ATi X1600.
Ofcourse, between the RX and the GeF6 families, the GeF6 is still better. Ofcourse we have our preferences. -(My RX700 actually runs UT2k4 or Unreal engine 2.5 based games better than either the 9800XT or the GeF6600- that explains why I can run AA better)
You should be looking towards a future GeF8600 card - that should give you DX10 for a more affordable price or wiat for ATi's first DX10 card which should generaly be cheaper by then.
I can get the 9600 for under $70 CAN on retail not Ebay (discounts not counted). The 9800 still costs as much as an X800 or X850 and around 1/3 the price of the X1600/X1800/X1900. If you will buy a card now, think twice because DX9 cards are phasing out once games start to utilize DX10. Basically buying a card at the turning point of a complete overhaul of graphics technology - DX10 - is just a waste of money so I suggest to everyone to wait until they can get even the second generation of DX10 cards/
If you will upgrade now however, all I would suggest is more ram, a better processor/s, or some other peripherals you might have wanted or just save up for a super powerful videocard and cooling system later on.