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After failing to build the proprietary NVIDIA driver with Linux 3.3, I switched back to nouveau and was pleasantly surprised to see it basically working, 3D and all. Incidentally, by doing so I removed the very last closed-sourced component from all my systems It would be interesting to know which driver(s) do you use with your NVIDIA cards, as well as the rationale for doing so.
Myself, for a long time I was stuck with the proprietary driver because I maintain 2 machines with NVIDIA cards (originally obtained with the intention of gaming under Windoze), and was not willing to bear the costs of replacing them. Having been Windoze-free for about a year now, the only remaining issue was the stability. I really hate to run proprietary blobs: they are contrary both to my religion and my understanding of security. To my delight, nouveau is finally in the state I can live with. And while GeForce 7600 GT seems to crash X really badly when I open anything in okular , my primary rig sails quite well with GeForce 9800 GT.
Since video acceleration and power saving were still work-in-progress (and 3D was and is still very rudimentary) I always have used the proprietary driver when I had a Nvidia card (switched to AMD two months ago).
Currently I use the proprietary driver as it will build for Kernel 3.2.12 (the current stable kernel). Nouveau isn't a bad driver, but it does lack a few nice things like the control panel that the proprietary driver has.
I use nouveau now, and I think I'll stick with it permanently.
The nivida drivers have a major bug that was not fixed for many versions and they refuse to address. That's one of the main reasons I switched, and I'm glad I did. I can run all the games I ran before with nouveau, and it's not only stable but surprisingly even faster than the nvidia drivers. I can run quake3 based games like tremulous, openarena, etc. I can also run minecraft (at least with newer kernels). I'll keep trying and see if there's a game I can't run.
I was one day going to switch to nouveau permanently, because I want to have a fully FLOSS system. I have decided to do that now. I've also gotten rid of flash, which was the last proprietary program, because they dropped support. I think I have a fully FLOSS system, except for some video codecs, and I may get rid of those too.
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
I have always had problems setting things up as I like them, because I have two different NVIDIA cards in the same machine and when I got the second card some programs required the proprietary drivers. At the moment I use the proprietary drivers because they're the quickest to to set up but now the nouveau drivers are working well I may have to start messing aroud trying to get things set up.
That said my biggest headache recently was the removal of xorg.conf from Debian, which I still haven't worked around.
NVidia (the 295.20).
When I first installed 13.37 (64-bit) on my desktop, I was using the integrated graphics (nvidia 6150se/nforce 430), and couldn't run X with the nouveau driver. Last week I fitted a graphics card, the nvidia geforce gt 430, but haven't tried that with the nouveau. Don't know if I want to risk it.
I used to use nvidia proprietary drivers, now i'm too lazy to set up them because nouveau just work ok, of course nvidia's one are better but nouveau works flawlessy. And for me it's enough (and they never break up wich is great)