Thanks once again for the extremely helpful information. I had been set on going the 6950 route, but your concerns about drivers for it. I just looked at the Twin Frozr version of the 570 at Newegg as an alternative, and its $70.00 higher than the equivalent 6950 version.........
Just one 6950/6970 should be enough power at 1080p to play modern games at 60fps. We won't know how well skyrim or bf3 plays well yet, but they probably will be pretty power hungry.
That' being said, the MSi 6950 Twin Frozr II/III's are very nice platforms, a bit a little more expensive than other 6950's (personally worth it). I know the Twin Frozr II's are able to unlock the dies to become a 6970 but I am unsure of the III's. If you can, you'll get a nice little speed boost for free (close to 95% of the current 6950's are able to be unlocked, but amd is now laser cutting the die's to prevent this). $280-$300 for each 6950 is a good price.
Alternatively, you can look on the Nvidia side since the 570's can be had for the same price range as the MSi's 6950's. It's basically the same power if not more than the 6950, but its really dependent on the applications cause it goes back and forth on which card is better. I have the stock 570 and I get around 60fps with everything maxed out in Dirt 3. The 570 beats the 6950 in Dirt 2 with a sizable margin. But be warned, the 570's don't like to be OC by a lot, unlike any other nvidia or amd card. This is due to the VRM dying if you go past the 1.05 or 1.1v settings.
Honestly, I'd say if you are looking to upgrade right now, Just stick with getting one 6950 or 570. It's more than enough speed with any current games out right now to pump it at 1080p. The only thing you'd ever want SLI/CF setups is if you are running triple monitor or a higher resolution than 1080p. If you do decide to SLI/CF, pick one up after the games come up when the same card goes on sale. Remember, Black Friday is around the corner and sales will keep popping up this fall/winter season in anticipation of all these A+ titles coming out soon.
Personally, I just switched from the 5870 to the 570 mainly because the 570 was on sale for 250 a pop and the fact that I just got fed up with amd shitty drivers. The only stable drivers I had was the 10.8 from last year. I'm also glad to be back on nvidia so I can take advantage of CUDA since I was waiting too long for adobe to get off their fat asses and program openCL support into premiere. Never mind that now - watch, openCL support comes out tomorrow... lol
I also have to say that eyefinity support was a nice thing to have for a large desktop across 3 monitors, but completely not practical for panoramic gaming. That was the biggest disappointment when I got my 5870; too much distortions on the side displays causing too many distractions. It was more detrimental than helpful. If I need more than two monitors for regular desktop tasks, I'll add my second 570 to this machine or a cheapy card.