What can you get for $180 that competes with a GTX 480?
Seeing as the 7850s have been going for ~$210 it's worth the extra $30.
It's not bad at $180 but it's worth the extra money to get a newer card. If the GTX 480 didn't run so hot, loud, and power hungry I would recommend it as well. Even at $180 it's warm at best though IMO.
FIRST of ALL, the GTX 480 neither runs hot nor loud. Only the first run of reference 480s had that designation. It was much the same with HD 7970; it started out relatively loud and hot compared to a GHz edition of today even though performance is similar.
Secondly, if you don't overclock, the GTX 480 will wipe the floor with HD 7850. If you do, the 480 also overclocks to nearly catch a GTX 580 in performance.
What is "newer"? Both cards are technically "new" and it takes an Overclocked HD 7850 to catch a GTX 480.
And if you are worried about the few cents difference in your monthly power bill, i don't know what to say