All I really want more than anything else is a way of detecting (a) when something will be hardware accelerated, and (b) when something (and what that something is) has dropped back to software emulation. Because right now the guessing game is too much. I don't particularly care for being able to write any code I like and so long as it conforms to the driver's GL_VERSION it will work; I want code that runs well and gives me (and my end-users) no nasty surprises, I want a big dirty red flag waving here.
And I want it backported to previous GL_VERSIONs by all major vendors too. No excuses - the driver has made a decision to drop something back to software, it knows what and why, I want to be able to query it and respond accordingly.