i hope my preview of the HD 7970 did not give that impression. i think it will be something like the GTX 480 versus the GTX 285 when Fermi first arrived. The GTX 480 was impressive in DX 10/11 games but not so much stronger in some older DX9 games. Nvidia even altered their marketing a bit, to "the fastest DX11 cards in the world", after BFG10K posted his reviews of the GTX 470.
The HD 7970 is a competent performer and a decent increase over the 6970. However, due to the complexity and size of it (and we know yields are not great), the *feeling* is that it held back by the 28nm process and AMD decided NOT to respin it - they moved it to market early for strategy of their own
(to take advantage of CES, make money and gain the performance crown and get back their margins)
--if Nvidia could have launched by now, they would. But i think they are aiming higher performance-wise.
Time will tell if AMD's strategy works - it's good to see that they have their planning back