Modeling

I saw some pics of models generated in ZBrush and was awe struck. I decided to start researching 3D software. There is lots out there. The main work flow for many people is to model a base mesh, then import it in to ZBrush/Mudbox to do the sculpting and to add details. I think ZBrush can actually paint as well.
So, I started looking for opinions on the best 3D software, best modeling software (for the base mesh) etc. Conclusion, no-one seems to know. It’s all opinion really. Many people mention Blender (especially lately with all the new features) while others complain it’s too hard to learn. After fooling around with Mudbox a bit I can see why Blender is intimidating. Having used it for 5 years I feel right at home but apparently the learning curve is too large for some. I digress.
I thought I would test drive some software. So far I have fooled around with Mudbox. It is very impressive for a sculpting tool. It handles large polygon counts and the brushes are amazing. I think blender has a ways to go before it can compete. Mind you, if we could import brushes we would be well on our way. I think Blender needs to handle larger face counts as well.
I am thinking of checking out Silo and Modo for base mesh creation. I was also going to check out Wings3D (I installed it at work, Exported the monkey from Blender and imported it into wings3d - it slowed down to a crawl).
So my question (finally) is do any of you have experience with any of this software? I know there are many Wings3D users. Does the Blender of today have the tools to do anything you could in Wings3D? Should I even bother? I can knock a model out pretty quickly in Blender.
What about work flow - what programs does everyone use - to unwrap UVs for example? Are there any paint programs that will allow me to import an .obj file so I can paint it?

Comments?

blender is well know among 3d apps for its UV kickassery. though some people use other programs. i agree about the brushes in sculpt mode. it is a very powerfull tool but still needs more. though i use it now.

and yes we can import obj files easily

Huh?? Who is we??

I model in blender, even do some basic sculpting in blender. Then I move it to Zbrush 3, (which kicks, best money I ever spent) do the fine details and such. I am horrible at texturing so I can’t help ya there. When I did attempt it though, I used Zbrush 2 to make a normal map or displacement map and based my textures off that. I know it sounds like a funny way to work, but again, I can’t texture to save my life.

I originally started in modeling using Maya, and I can tell you, I use Blender more than I ever use Maya. I haven’t touched Maya for at least 2 years. I have tried to pick up MAX, but I just can’t get used to the workflow.

Ok after all my useless story, what I am trying to say is, if you know Blender, stick with it. You should use whats best for you, unless your job requires you to use something else.

I recently discovered a couple of freeware modellers, MOI(Moment of Inspiration) and gSculpt. Im new, so i don’t know if these programs are commonly known but i was wondering if you have used them and what your opinion of them is.