intercept - Dual processor issues aside, AMD's chips are also competitive in today's current 16/32-bit market, something you cared to overlook. Support is gaining every day, with Microsoft releasing AMD64 Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 soon.
Plus, PCI Express is coming out on Athlon64 boards in the future, and possible (well, i'd imagine) on AthlonXP boards also. I still see no problem with AGP 8x, it's not like the Graphics cards are even saturating the AGP's bandwith at 8x (2133MB/s), which is why from 4x to 8x there is no big jump in FPS (what, 1-9%?).
Alexstarfire - AMD (along with the rest of the computer market) was left with a chicken and egg scenario. There were no 64 bit processors for the home market, and no 64 bit applications/games for the home market.
Why would software houses make 64 bit applications/games if there were no 64 bit processors available to utilize it.
Not only that, but how do you code for 64 bit on a processor that doesn't exist. What if there were design changes before production run? There are a whole slew of complications involved.
The fact of the matter is, AMD had the balls to deliver a 64-bit product today. And Intel is delivering a P4:Emergency Edition "sometime" and Prescott "sometime after that" with "undisclosed, but better" features. Intel conveniently sent samples of the EE to reviewers on the Athlon64 launch to try and save its image, and to try and rain on the A64 parade.
edit: BTW, it does support 16 bit code natively also. And the FX-51 is essentially an Opteron, and also supports 32 and 16 bit code natively.