Well, if you don't go with a 7900GT, which I think is a damn good card, I think the best power for the dollar now is the X1800XT 256mb. If you keep watching Newegg, you might see one sneak down close to $200. At that price, it's hard not to get one.
I doubt, however, that you'll get as much overclocking with it as your 9500 Pro. That was a great card for it's price/time.
Ohh as far as nVidia's reputation, I've frequently gone with them and have been satisfied ALMOST everytime. I've had less luck with my Jetway ATI board and my ASRock SATA2 board, both in my sig.
My old MSI ATI motherboard (no longer in the sig)had to be replaced because it couldn't run all 3 of my SATA drives. It had 4 SATA ports but had incompatablity problems with the newer drives.
It was replaced with the ECS board listed. It's done fairly well after ironing out some Cool'n'Quiet issues. Oh yeah, it loves my SATA drives.
I think you have excellent choices for your build.
Main/HTPC: 880G Extreme3, 960T -> X6 3.4GHz, 4x4GB, HD6950, 250GB Samsung 840 EVO, Vizio 60" LED 1080p, Win7x64 Ult & Ubuntu Saucy
"Kill all my demons, and my angels might die too..." -T. Williams