Looking over the reviews, it was comforting to note that the performance of the 7950 scaled down fairly linearly when compared to the 7970. The gap between the two GPUs did not appear to be that large, so it makes sense for fixed-budget consumers to give it consideration.
That said: Outside of limited applications (GPGPU, CAD, Game development, etc), I find that it is difficult to justify the 79XX's expense for PC gaming. You can purchase both an Xbox-360 and a PS3 for the same price. Those of us with a 4-year procurement cycle may be better off purchasing ATI's $140 (6790/6858) offering each year, unless purchasing an integrated machine (iMac).
I'd love to see a recreational gamer's justification for purchasing a $500 video card. I could see flush die-hard MMORPG fans (EvE/WoW) wanting whatever gives them the greatest level of immersion, but that's about it.