> Over the last few years, through a combination of openness at Intel and AMD/ATI and reverse engineering for NVIDIA, the graphics problem has mostly been solved - for desktop systems.
That is a extremely optimistic version of the Linux graphics story. While open drivers for intel,ati and nvidia exist, the window of RELIABLY working hardware is sometimes incredibly thin. Too old chip (Intel 855GM was really buggy around 2.4..2.9 versions of intel driver) and support is spotty. Too new (GMA500) and no support at all. Nouveau works really well only between NV30<->NV50. I would assume ATI has the same issue of code supporting old HW getting bitrotted and new HW support not being ready yet.
My estimate is that open graphics drivers in Linux would need at least 2-3x the current manpower to keep up with the hardware and kernel infrastructure changes.