Until there's proof that a patch fixes the problem we really don't know if it's a software or a hardware problem. I am quite sure that AMD should of been testing their new cpu with Windows from the initial testing to its final release. So this problem never should of risen and I'm not confident that a patch is going to help much.
It's never going to run as fast as it could
That's 100% true at this time, the 7970 is going to run faster with a Intel cpu and it may still be true after the AMD patch.
If the Patch works and AMD takes the lead I'll buy one as soon as I get the extra cash, but I'm not going to recommend a product that might work great after a patch until it does work great.
Right now, if I was building a PC I would buy a PII X4 before I bought a FX-series or a PII X6, if I couldn't afford a Intel. But in reality I would buy the Intel and a slightly slower video card than a 7970.