As was mentioned before. The Radeon drivers have added support for 9 years of hardware in the last 5 years. In the case of my radeon 4850, which I bought in Fall of 2008, it was 8+ months before a classic Mesa driver got usable 3D support (2D worked ok, but I ran Catalyst at the time). In the meantime, we've gotten a rock solid r300g driver, good quality r600g which needs performance optimization and some new OpenGL features, and now we're getting VDPAU/OpenCL/GLES and other features as well.
OpenCL is worked on but isn't vdpau stopped?? Or i missed something??