Granny has a good point on UPS's. A good (expensive) one is "on-line", and double as a line conditioner and surge protector. The cheap "off-line" ones just sit there and watch the power go by, and jumps in only to prevent loss of power.
Back to video cards, I used ATI's for many years under another OS. The Radeons performed well and had good picture quality. Using them under Linux without 3D was not a problem for me, but I did buy some nVidia cards to experiment with. After about a year of back and forth, I have settled on nVidia. The installer is not as fancy as ATI's, but I have had much better luck with it. Performance also seems better with the GeForce products.
It is my opinion that right now nVidia has the edge.