With static baked lighting, anything that can map images to polygons is going to look as good as the skills of the artist creating it.
When I look at the OP’s screens, I see A) A landscape with no lighting baked, and B) A landscape with lighting baked. A scene without lighting is always going to look more ‘flat’ than a scene with lighting, no matter what kind of rendering you’re using. Either you are mistaken, or are intentionally trying to be misleading. There’s no reason why the first screen can’t display the baked lighting of the second screen.
Try using any kind of real-time lighting in that scene. Or try using multiple texture channels on one material, or normal mapping.
None of these will work well in multi-texture mode.
Regardless, multitexture is a hell of a lot cheaper to render than GLSL, and should be utilized wherever possible.
GLSL is generally the better looking of the two shading modes; if you’re looking at results like the first post and find that MultiTexture has shading and lighting while GLSL mode doesn’t, I’d guess you’re viewing a scene that was made for MultiTexture mode (i.e. the lighting layer’s baked and appears in MultiTexture mode). Multitexture mode has no built-in shadowing system, and the lighting is per-vertex as opposed to the smoother per-fragment lighting in GLSL mode.
So, your statements and results don’t match up with what I thought to be the truth. A test blend file would be nice.
GLSL is not “better looking” it is a different render technique. It allows different features. Some features are shared (showing textures on a face) others are unique (shaders on a material).
In general the GLSL rendering (should) can do everything that Multitexture rendering can do.
If the things are better looking depends on your artistic skills.
A pencil drawing can look better than a oil drawing. Oil painting has more features than pencil drawing, but oil painting does not automatically makes a good looking painting. That’s why I find it so funny that people cry for “AAA features” but can’t create more than a cube-character.
Yeah, I just phrased it that way to be succinct. It’s not “better looking” by default, but it allows you to do more visually and supports more, so it’s the “visually better” shading mode.
I’d say it’s more like the difference between physical art (pencils, oil painting) and digital art. You can make fine art with physical mediums, but digital art allows you to create more using additional methods.