Also, a lot of the hold-up for r800 with the open source drivers in particular is the legal team at AMD. They have to carefully screen documentation for anything that might be used by Nvidia to let them extract new technical knowledge they don't currently possess. These two companies are constantly at one another's throats about this kind of thing, hiding their internal R&D technology from the other. With the demolishment of Nvidia's official open source strategy, they are much less at risk now of exposing their IP, while AMD is still trying to stick its neck out there.
The funny thing is, the legal team is still a bottleneck even if all the code we need is written! AMD's internal developers (who get paid to work on the open source graphics stack) definitely have access to all the AMD documentation they need to write a driver, but they can't release that code as open source until they clear it with legal. Protecting their patents and other such nonsense.
So yeah, the issues with slow development of the r800 OSS driver (and, in general, the development of open source graphics drivers for the latest chipsets) is impeded by the quagmire of our legal system, as much as (if not more than) the lack of manpower. I can't blame AMD for protecting their "IP" any more than I blame Red Hat for taking out defensive software patents, though: both companies reluctantly play by the rules of the legal system, as a means of survival. If they were to ignore the patent landscape entirely and just give us the code/docs as they are, it would be like dismantling your entire nuclear weapon arsenal during the most tense period of the Cold War. Suicide.