Thanks for the input, and I have indeed tried PBR materials.
Finding the right PBR material is the problem! I am trying to replicate actual surfaces… so often have a reference photograph, but nothing else. So, I have images, but flat is…dull, and life is too short to look through and try every variant of wood/stone/fabric/etc and then to ‘tweak’ them to better approximate my goal!
So to get normal/displacement/roughness/specular maps that actually directly relate to MY material (ref pics) is still a challenge. Good procedural textures are a way to ‘fake’ those, and get much closer than I could just painting or manually faking it!
I have definitely used PBR materials for as much as I can, though, because they are a lot less ‘expensive’ in terms of render time, and are generally accessible in EEVEE so I can do ‘fast models’ to try lots of different ‘looks’ without waiting for renders.
Thanks @GEMN for the instructions to bake the textures… There are a few places where I’ll do ‘glamour shots’ and may want to tweak continuously to get just the right looks… (so will keep the parametrics) And others where I want faster visualizations, so will use baked textures. GEMNs example of baking prior to animation is a good one – Using a decent baked texture in EEVEE means faster animations, so I can actually do the ‘walkthough from front door to kitchen reveal’ without having to buy days on a super high powered render farm!
This Blender stuff sure does get addictive.