a lot of it is based on the person using the renderer. I mean renderman is "the best" but not only because of the renderer (you're renders wont automatically look better in renderman) but because of the whole rib and sl languages that go along with it.
So what I'm saying is that it's the artist and not the renderer i've seen beautiful stuff come out of the maya renderer....
I can't believe how much mental ray costs, can't you upgrade maya for that price!?
Technical Director - Framestore
Currently working on: Your Highness