Well, I have to say that I have had good luck with this card.
It has been no better or worse than any other manufacturer. The card is part of the default builds released by AMD; it's nothing more than their reference card with an MSI sticker slapped on the HSF.
It did unlock to 6970 speeds, and then some. I haven't had a truly functional program with which to test clock speeds beyond 6970 speeds, but I did get 950/1375 clocks with nothing more than the BIOS flash.
The warranty may not be lifetime like XFX, but it does come with a 3-year parts and 2-year labor warranty. Although I don't remember ever having a card for that long a period of time.
The factory cooling is quite good. Even at 50-60% fan speed the noise isn't overly noticeable over my other fans. Performance is good, and drivers have been rock stable for me; your mileage may vary.
All in all, I can say that I have been very pleased with the performance of this card, especially given the 6950 price point.