hi lemon bon bon, just a side note, there is no 3ds max for mac. anyway i'm with the lightwave camp because its renders are simply beautiful. 3ds max renders always look like, well, 3ds max renders. but that is quite a separate debate i don't want to get into (max vs lightwave) since i haven't done 3d stuff for a little while now.
i agree that the 7800 gt can handle a lot of openGL stuff in lightwave, say cinema4d, etc... quite well. quadro is probably when you are doing some serious "workstation" 3d graphics and very high resolutions/ multiple monitors etc. for creative motion graphics, animation type 3d work and lower-poly (eg games modelling) the 7800 gt would offer a lot of openGL goodness. 256mb vram would be sweet as well.
but again, like you said, benchmarks and models, polygon counts, texture size etc... would be the key to really work out whether one might want a 7800gt or Quadro. it's great that there is a Quadro option though, as many people on Ai have been commenting about this past year.
ati is behind the curve. the x1---- lines are not really shipping in quantity even to the gaming /pc world.
which is surprising for the 7800gt, either nvidia can't supply them for whatever reason or the drivers are not ready or something else is holding them up. which makes me think, how come apple doesn't get the 7800gts from say Asus? less of a profit margin but 3rd parties have been shipping 7800-series cards for many many months in good quantities now... hmmm
i'm sure apple has a reason to only use pure-nvidia-branded 7800gt s?
PS> anyway i have a very personal bias towards lightwave on the mac so mad props to the Quad, hopefully a lot of lightwave users in games, creative, motion, vfx, animation, etc... will get onto the Quad with either the 7800gt (if it ever comes out!!) or Quadro....