Phoronix: AMD Has Open-Source Driver For HD 8000 Series
While AMD has yet to officially introduce their Radeon HD 8000 series, published today was the initial open-source Linux graphics driver support for handling the Radeon HD 8800 "Oland" graphics cards...
There's also the overall limitations of the open-source AMD Linux stack of no support past OpenGL 3.0 yet, OpenCL is still a work-in-progress, there isn't Unified Video Decoder support, and other features are missing or still in early stages of development.
r600g reports OpenGL 3.1 if you invoke glxinfo with the -c argument. I believe that this requires a fairly recent copy of mesa-utils.
From what I understand, r600g (and possibly intel) only supports GL 3.1 for core contexts, not the compatibility/legacy profile.
Also, do you have any plans to do additional Radeon Southern Islands (HD7700-7900) tests before the Sea Islands stuff is out? Last I had heard was that SI is capable of running several/many full games and that the support was maturing somewhat. I don't have one of these cards, but I may buy one sometime soon for the power savings that they can offer over the Radeon 6850 I'm using now and the possible improvements in performance (moving away from the VLIW architecture might help).
The kernel patches for Oland are in my drm-next-3.9-wip branch. Also, considering that Oland hardware isn't available yet, the open source driver has Oland support prior to hardware availability. I don't see any reason why distros wouldn't pick this up considering spring distros are still several months out.