My novel on the Radeon 9550
Buy.com is reputable and has a retail boxed Radeon 9550 for $60 with free shipping.
I've been researching to upgrade from my 64MB Radeon 9100. (btw- I have Morrowind and find my Radeon 9100 to be inadequate) The Radeon 9550 seems to be the best bang for buck card out there currently. I'm getting it so I can play Doom III and FarCry. Don't let the numbering confuse you. The Radeon 9550 has the exact same architecture as a Radeon 9600 it is just clocked slower. Even so, it buries a Geforce 5200 and performs favorably if not better than Geforce 5500, 5600 and 5700 cards. I STRONGLY suggest that you DON'T buy an (SE) card. They only have 64-bit bandwidth for the memory and without getting to technical, the performance is essentially cut in half and the price difference is negligble.
The 9550 will absolutely slaughter your MX440 card and is overclockable (i.e. you can make it perform like a true Radeon 9600 or better) if you're into that sort of thing like I am.
Radeon cards below are listed in order of performance:
Core (MHz) Mem (MHz) Bandwidth
9550SE 250 400 64-bit (barely adequate)
9600SE 325 400 64-bit (adequate)
9550 250 400 128-bit (good)
9600 325 400 128-bit (better)
9600 Pro 400 600 128-bit (best)
9600 XT 500 600 128-bit (smokin)
Sorry about the novel, but I've been doing a lot of research and it helps me to write it down. There's a lot more I could have put about different manufacturers, bios flashing, etc. but that would be overkill.
One last thought:
All of this assumes that his computer which has "...stupid 8 meg ATI graphics card..." will support a pretty good card like this.