I use openchrome from svn in Gentoo, cause no other driver would work or even compile with Xorg-server >=1.6 iirc. At least it has XAA support and all that basic 2d stuff though MPEG2 is sometimes messy.
Yes, proud user of (currently) 2x CLE266, 1x VX800 (my daily workhorse) and 1x VX855. Hope that this will increase in the near future. Works very well (for working, but this hardware isn't designed for gaming anyway)
But did anyone of you, especially Michael, ever try seriously communicating with VIA/Bruce Chang?
I admit it can be PITA to get something and it needs some endurance but I think after my experience I really can't say that VIA is uncooperative. Of course, as a developer I'd really like to see VIA releasing complete documentation of all their IGPs and related hardware, especially the older ones, but that's probably something one has to live with
In fact VIA hardware does partially work better for me than ATI/AMDs. I have 2 of those graphic chips but both failed with Debian stable and testing drivers to support the correct mode (1440x900) of my display while all VIA IGPs, including the oldest, work without problems.
I admit that the 3D driver is totally crap, even for the older hardware where it exists. Maybe the ATI/AMD drivers are better in this regard but for me they weren't good enough the last time I tried.
So in the end, VIAs open source support can improve, must improve, but it's not as hopeless as you make sound it
@nano dual core:
Certainly something I'd like to see so that compiling kernels wouldn't take ages. But hey AFAIK it was shown on Computex and announced for the end of this or the beginning of next year so that could still be on it's roadmap