And of course there’s a certain amount of artistic discretion here, too. Right now, it looks like an airbrushed rendering of an Art Deco appliance. The treatment of the chrome top surface of the toaster, in particular, gives it “that certain look” . . . A really nice yet simple shape, using just two or three gray tones. It actually looks to me like good airbrush work. It makes The Almighty Product™ look appealing. (Although the lettering and especially the logo should be “tack sharp.”)
The exposure, also, is quite even across the entire appliance, the shadows are subtle but realistic, the various corners and edges are well-defined.
. . . So, if that were what you were shooting for, or what you decided to be shooting for, then, “to my eye, it looks pretty darned good!” :yes: (In other words: I’d keep a copy of that blend-file, just like it is.)
But if instead you are looking for “realism,” as you call it, then you’re really looking for visual complexity, particularly (I think …) in the reflections. The toaster is probably made of enameled metal which probably wouldn’t exhibit a very “bumpy” texture. But the lighting would be c-o-n-t-r-i-v-e-d, in the photographic studio, to give a “realistic” (sic) and appealing effect.
I’d strongly suggest that you surf for some articles which talk about this sort of close-up product photography, especially the shooting of chrome.
Then, in the interest of time, consider shooting a “base plate” consisting of the toaster with no specularity, then separately render only one-or-more “specularity plates” which you can then composite over the base plate, maybe using slightly different color shades. The base materials look pretty good right now to me for a subject like this one. The tweaks that will make it seem more “realistic” (in a studio product-shot sort of way, this being perhaps the most unrealistic photo setup you can possibly have …) will mostly have to do with specularity. Therefore, I’d “plan accordingly” to save myself some render-time.
(Cycles is great for that “flat lighting,” but you might switch to BI for the specular passes.)
Also, with regard to post #5: “uh uh, I can see the soft-box in the picture.” There must be No reflections of the photographer, the camera or the lighting implements in a product shot. Cycles is really bad about that, and wastes a lot of computer time trying to achieve it, although the same basic consideration would be equally true with silver film.