It seems that ATI have an ace up their sleeve as far as the Radeon 9600XT is concerned.
Reviews of the card have been surfacing for a while now and most of them have been suggesting that the card is not all that different to the Radeon 9600 PRO.
Apparently ATI just sent the chip to manufacturers yesterday but managed to make a few changes that will make it run faster. It seems that ATI have managed to get their hands on silicon that can run faster than the one being used on the boards currently being reviewed.
This seems to be a strategy that ATI have been following for a while now and it worked very well for them when, while launching the 9600 PRO, they decided to recall the demonstration units they had already distributed and relaunched the board running faster than before. At the time that had proved the key move in helping the 9600 PRO beat NVidia's offering at the time.
While we cannot speculate how much faster the new Radeon 9600XT will be compared to the reviews we have been reading, it is safe to say that ATI would not be changing things if they didn't expect an adequate performance improvement. Expect new, revised, reviews out in the very near future.