I have a 9850, upgraded from an Athlon 64 X2 6400+. The 9850 is leaps and bound faster clock for clock that the Athlon X2's. Mine at 2.8ghz has the 6400+ wouped hands down but at stock, clock for clock, is still a tad slower than the Q6600.
I'm not going to suggest which way to go, that is up to you. There is a couple of threads already started... one here http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/31...ners-club.html
where we tried getting the 9850 to 3ghz, and few people has, though I wasn't one of them
All I can say these Phenoms has been fun to play with and I think AMD might finally be back on track as soon as they release there 45nm chips. It may be worth sticking it out with them a while longer, I know I am, cause I dont want to pay outragous prices for upgrades in the future (I'm to poor for >$400 processors
Hope this helps