As reported by ElBarto at blender.org, there’s a new alternative solution for problematic ati video cards. The Omegadrivers.net site has third party drivers for all Radeon cards. The drivers work. Well. They’ve fixed fuzzy menus, fixed ElBarto’s black icon issues and they’ve also fixed a problem I was having with the new icons in the Orange brach where the icons would show garbled images that were unrecognizeable and unreadable. I’m not sure about slow down, since I don’t have the problem, but another nice feature of the Omega driver is they are more efficient and faster. On a slow radeon mobility notebook the performance has been markedly improved.
A pointer to these drivers in an official location might be a good idea. They seem to be very stable, they’ve been around for quite a while, and the ATI problems don’t seem to be going away, as evidenced by the garbled icons in the Orange build here on my pc.
I would definitely recomend giving them a try, they’ve shown to have very good performance so far on the machines here.