A lot of good points. My situation definitely isn't normal and I know that. Like I said in my main comment I'm hooked up with a supplier and have a selection of a few models (no EVGA queue).
I definitely agree, the fact that EVGA has gotten the most GPUs out can skew data significantly. I guess my issue is with the fact that with no OC, no 450W BIOS, never going above 70°C or so has crippled what is advertised as an OC monster.
I've pushed older GPUs to their limits and all except one (an IceQ 7850HD which is in the same state as my FTW3) are still alive and in other PCs. My concern is that in order to keep margins affordable EVGA may have skimped on controllers/caps (GN's teardown was less than impressive for the cost difference) in order to provide their own boards with the fan/RGB header, better cooling, etc. all of which can add up.
But again, to my main point, I was just trying to see if others have had similar issues outside of a Google search and it seems people have. I'd rather not deal with 1 or possibly 2 more replacements ($30-$40 shipping each) in order to get a repaired model that will work for 4 or 5 years. At this point I'm 90% going with an Asus 3080 Ti as a direct replacement since I can get it within a week as opposed to 2-3 weekz and honestly this subreddit really turned me off.
I really appreciate the thorough response. It's that 10% that's keeping me considering another FTW3.