So as ever you are free to not buy the Fiire hardware... its your choice.
Yeah I think we get that part by now, excuse me for trying to make an informed decision, in spite of the "wealth of available information" on their products.
Having said that, the hardware HD playback is a huge plus for this purpose and from what I understand you can not do that on either ATI or Nvidia cards without closed drivers. With this board, you can and do it with open drivers and even better then with an ATI or Nvidia card with the closed drivers. If you choose to use the closed drivers then you will also get the 3d acceleration, but with the added headache of trying to actually get the driver for the kernel/X version you are running.
That is interesting, what a shame VIA decided to keep the proper drivers to themselves. I really hope they change their mind and decide that they actually want to sell their hardware.