@Marlon - nah, it's not just you that gets the crappy renders, you're just too smart to kill hours trying to get it perfect.
Advice is always quicker than nutting it out..
@Gster - thanks for that. I'd forgotten all about having to chuck in an extra light to get the shadow. As for the bit about dropping the colour gain, uh-ha! So, that's what that does..
@Turbo - Yet another good point, the type of mapping of the hdri makes quite a bit of difference. [sheepish]Had it set to angular myself[/sheepish]
@Marlon again, Just using the tips given above I've given it something like another 15 renders and tweaks. Still not as pleasing as the image you posted, but a lot more like it than what you're left with after following the tute step by step.
It's still a bit red I think - it's just the colour offset of the hdri file. I've just been playing around with the intensity of the point light, the color gain and offset of the hdri and the shadow radius of the light, to get a nice soft fuzzy shadow with pneubra effects. Oh yeah - this time I used the kitchen probe image again.
If you like this render, grab the scene from the next post. Open it up in Maya, start another copy of maya and load your file then just alt-tab backwars and forwards between the two to check all the settings. I'd write down all the important ones for you, but to be honest I don't remember all the things I changed from the time that I finished the tute as presented.