Binary drivers are imho a hughe problem for free software. Nvidia, leading graphics company, has produced binary linux drivers for a long time and there was no way to get free software 3D-support on their cards.
A group of people is working at the moment on a free nvidia driver, the project is called nouveau. I now had a chance to test the nouveau driver on a nvidia card (nv43). It doesn't do much at the moment, but at least it runs glxgears almost smooth.