beat me to the chase Steve.., i was reading all these posts think.., what the hell is a FUD.., Elmer FUD, Face Up Display, ..., had me guessing there for a while
in light of the complete difference in programming.., i cant see the two combining or especially.., i cant see auto desk ditching them both and making another complete app.., that makes completely no business sense.., it would takes years to just get back R and D.
and i have seen plenty of cases on set where the good old three lights works MUCH better than natural lighting (no comparison actually) .., some things are still around because they are simple and work.., some of the best tricks are the cheapest, and key lighting will always be around.., its a simple lighting system in CG too, that will be around for a long time.., if its done properly it will give renderman and mental ray a run for there GI, FG money.
witness gnomons 4 part DVD lighting series.., it will make your neck tingle and not a word about anything there other than maya renderer. there is a lot of control with lighting each object, and using shadow plates and light linking that maybe the broadbrush GI, FG approach may lack, but im talking out of school now.
take it easy and life will be easy