Without the non-free firmware the card works fine, if unaccelerated. And I
far prefer a small amount of non-free firmware and a large body of free
software to the memory-leaking slow dysfunctional closed unfixable horror
that was fglrx...
I'm not going to chastise ATI/AMD for going from adamant hostility to free
software (post-r200) to funding developers and writing free drivers and
helping revamp the X-on-Linux graphics stack, because they didn't *at the
same time* rewrite several hundred Kb of firmware.