ATI's replacement for the 9600 XT and X600 XT appears to be the RV410. The Inq says this puppy will have eight pipes and pull 7000 points in 3DMark03. If true, that should put it just ahead of the Radeon 9800 XT (default res in 3DMark is 1024x768), and that seems plausible given the pipeline count.
Meanwhile, NVIDIA is reportedly prepping the NV41, a cheaper version of the GeForce 6800. Fudo speculates that the NV41 will have twelve pipes natively, but I wouldn't count on that. He says NVIDIA's goal is to replace the stock 12-pipe GeForce 6800 (the $299 card) with a similar performer that's cheaper to produce. An eight-pipe chip with a higher clock rate could easily fill that role, and I'd put my money on that config.
If both companies really will soon have eight-pipe chips derived from their latest high-end GPUs, the battle for the middle could heat up very quickly.