I had to know what was being done with post-processing, there is so much of it in here. So I bought Photomatix and have been playing with it. What a major time suck that is. That said, the more I use it, the more it reminds me of my days printing color photos. It feels like going back to that control over an image, even more than working in photoshop.
I don't have many bracketed shots, or raw images, to experiment with, so I have been trying single images and false brackets done in photoshop. There are so many controls, such fine tweaks, that arriving at a final image takes some doing. I am amazed at the level of details it can pull out while not destroying other levels.
Glad it's winter and I don't feel guilty sitting on my computer for hours.