While VIA have been relatively absent from the Intel chipset world for quite some time, they have certainly come back to the forefront with their guns blazing.
Despite being badly beaten in the AthlonXP arena (KT600... cough, cough), VIA have shown they are able to regroup, and have since taken the Athlon64 performance crown. As drivers mature VIA also has the potential to steal away the Pentium 4 from the looks of what we have seen the PT880 chipset tackle.
Please remember that the PT880 chipset in the reference board is not final silicon, and the companies engineers may very well be able to squeeze out a bit more performance with the final revision. In any event, we can comment on hypothetical's, so let's look at what we've actually seen.