Again, you confuse tone mapping and post production. I rely on post production heavily for my work. But tone mapping is an essential element of lighting setup. I can not work in my scene and tweak elements such as shading when i have a white nuke around my windows, or when half of my render drowns in black.
Exponential/Reinhard color mapping in Vray.
Photographic exposure control in MentalRay and finalRender.
Camera response in Octane.
Burn value in Maxwell, Fryrender and Thea.
Highlight burn (Reinhard) in Corona
Tone mapping of output is absolutely essential as you often want to compress range of the output to visible range so you can work with it. But work with it in real time… not to work blindly and hope there is something you did that will come back in post.
I have been doing architectural visualization for 3 years and now doing VFX for about a year, and in none of these branches i could get by without tonemapping in a renderer. Or i could, but i could not even remotely achieve the realism i do now.
To explain a little better. This is my portfolio http://raw.bluefile.cz/
It is slightly outdated, as my skillset has evolved a bit since i did my last personal work. Right now i am doing a research, and part of it is to prove that even Cycles in blender is capable of producing highly photorealistic result, but so far, lack of tone mapping along with counter-intuitive shading system are quite a dealbreakers
I will try to make some visual examples once i finish today’s work.