Quick question

If i lock something, lets say a bunch of grass, will shaders still beable to transform the points?

It seems not. It may be a broken ATI displaylist implementation, or maybe its suposed to work that way, but seems shaders are ignored with display lists.

That is weird, just cuts shaders out of the graphic pipeline?  You said ati(i have that too)but does this not happen on nvidia cards?

I read something about vertex arrays not working properly with display lists, maybe shaders just escalate the problem. But the thing is that on my ATI 9700 i get no textures and no morphing. And an OpenGL benchmark also exhibits this same behavior. But using VBO's shouldnt be that much slower. And you can exploit some features in ATI, which do work and speed things up. ATI has a feature called early-z-out, which quickly discards occluded fragments. It gives visible speed increase when drawing objects front-to-back. Terrain benefits from this, and i guess drawing patches of grass would too. It only pays out to sort objects with same renderstates.

ya i have planned to implament various vendor related extensions to boost overall proformance.