for those who know me, I work in product and jewelry design and use Blender as part of my toolset and recently pay more attention to it because of the new Cycles render engine.
Very popular in this area is a software called Hypershot / Keyshot which uses a similar approach to rendering like Cycles with interactive refinements.
Cycles is catching up very much and Blender itself already offers more tools than those two commercial packages ranging from better animation to the post production abilities.
However one area where Hypershot and Keyshot are king is their ability to directly open Rhinoceros 3D files which are saved in the free openNURBS file format. Keyshot does then the render meshing internally.
I am curious about what the developers think about to build in an openNURBS reader and the ability to create the polygon mesh then directly in Blender based on tessellation commands.
I very much understand that NURBS modeling tools in Blender will probably remain a dream but the ability to open Rhino or Solidworks right into Blender itself would drastically increase their usability and ability to be applied in such industries which are prone for not having a lot of time for rendering tricks.
Cycles is seriously maturing nicely, and even while painfully slow compared to VRay the scene set up time and the elimination of preview renderings is a drastic sell argument for it because it streamlines and shortens the shot development.