Regarding AMD(ATi) vs Nvidia reliability, I was dealing with mostly Geforce & Quadro cards up until the GTX285, the last of which died or was replaced about 18 months ago.
When Nvidia switched to Fermi/Kepler they murdered their compute and DP FLOPS performance and I started buying GCN cards (mostly Radeons and not FireGL).
Over the last five years and maybe 1000 graphics cards, I've had to replace maybe 20-30 Nvidia cards and 3 AMD cards which is close enough to call even in the reliability stakes.
Yesterday, I (a minion, actually) assembled PC numbers 190-196 since the AMD graphics switchover, meaning my failure rates are roughly proportional to the number of cards we've had from each vendor, considering their age and service time difference too.
got a Vendor statistic list ?
Not for RMA's. Since I dealt with the majority of them though, I can tell you that several of the non-stock failed Nvidia cards were either PNY or BFG. Cheap-ass Geforces like Inno3D were unexpectedly reliable with no known failures and about 50-75 deployed cards.
Of the OEM Quadro/Geforce cards, they were either Dell labelled or completely unbranded. Couldn't tell you who actually made them.
On the AMD side of things, I've had a dead Asus, a dead Sapphire and a dead XFX. The Asus was a memory failure, the Sapphire was board sag, and the XFX was faulty right from the start, I think it crashed during software imaging. I've been avoiding XFX because of low ASIC quality, high voltages and noisy coolers (goes with the low prices I guess). I've been avoiding Sapphire recently because their RMA process is a PITA. By volume, I suspect more than half of our cards are Powercolor Pitcairn/Tahiti models. I expect some of the Powercolors to die like the Sapphire with board sag, but I've found that Powercolor now put backplates on many of their cards, which I find encouraging - and so buy those. To date, I've never had a dead FireGL though we probably only ever had 80 in the first place and I suspect that number is down to less than 25 now.Edit
Now that I've caught up with the thread, I find this argument over PSU rating rather amusing! A PSU that's at peak efficiency (usually around 50% load) is what you want, and to hell with the fan noise from the PSU; Any GPU worth a damn these days will make far more noise than the PSU under load. Even one of the premium cards with a fancy triple-fan, full-length, multi-heatpiped cooler is still going to make 40+ dBA and you have a *bad* PSU if its fan makes more noise than that.