Thanks for the input John. I've played with Modo, as I have a good friend who uses it professionally and was trying to get me to jump ship. Its modeling is too slow, and the extreme levels of photorealism are unnecessary for our work, as it is very much meant to be conceptual for selling purposes. It would be nice to be able to more accurately show modern lighting options (backlit/glowing graphics, LED light tape everywhere), which is why we have been playing with Maxwell.
We're mostly doing large exhibit design and interior architecture, but can get detail heavy when the client has the budget. We need something that is LIVE and integrated directly in FormZ. It doesn't do us any good to have to export, since we need to be able to do sample renderings while we are still designing. Maxwell via Fire works OK in this regard, but is far too difficult to setup simple scenes. I feel like Maxwell needs some default scenes you can pick from and adjust, something like simple mode, similar to Keyshot.
But unless we can get another integrated option inside FormZ, we're kind of stuck. Though there is a lot of talk now about Rhino, since that is what our CAD associates are using to import our design files with and then do the engineering work and detail drawings. They have had no issues importing our FormZ files, but occasionally when we need to import their files into FormZ for rendering, it can be quite a task. That said, I'm not giving up FormZ, it's still wonderfully fast to model with, it's just the mapping and rendering that is lacking these days. Can't wait to see what the future holds.