read through the DG issue (issue 126 that Susie was sent) and it has some great stuff in there from various artists. The 3D guy (Pjero) used Bryce originally and now uses Vue5 and PoserPP. I will have to try one of the 3D landscape packages soon. Plus this does show that the cheaper suites are very capable indeed.
Had a look at the Hexagon stuff on the DAZ website and it looks amazing. The video showing the modelling and then skulpting of the creature are inspiring. It only costs $119US which looks like great value for something of this quality and feature set.
Did a little HL2 (the cinematic feel is awesome - very intense) and then some WoW for good measure.
[journeytime = 1 hour]