Well, it does top the charts for *today*
- it meets the expectations for exceeding HD 6970 performance (but does not exceed it, except by overclocking).
It is priced what the GTX 580 3GB version cost at its launch
What hurt the card's perception was its increase in price over AMD's own last generation - from $370 to $550 for the flagship single-GPU card.
That would mean (by the same kind of pricing mentality) that if Nvidia improves +40% with Kepler's flagship over the GTX 580, premium pricing
would dictate $699 (from $550 to $700 by using about the same percentage of increase that AMD used).