HD 7850 is the best sub $200 card there ever was.
The only other options are the GTX 660 on sale (which isn't as powerful as HD7850 Overclocked), GTX 570/GTX 560Ti (older tech, memory limited, more wattage, runs hotter), HD 6950 (older tech, VLIW4 which means not compute godliness unlike GCN).
GCN is arguably the best thing to ever happen to AMD/ATI since it makes coding for the GPU easier. (see http://www.anandtech.com/show/4455/amds-graphics-core-next-preview-amd-architects-for-compute/3
) In the past NVIDIA always seemed to have the better drivers because if you look at CUDA or GCN code vs VLIW code, it's a lot easier to troubleshoot. IN fact, a HD 7770 clocked the same as a HD 5770 performs about 30% faster (http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/amd_radeon_hd_7700_test/index4.php
).Edited by AlphaC - 2/28/13 at 4:55pm