Thanks, guys. Although I've not even scratched the surface (more like touched it with a fingertip) I find myself agreeing, especially after I've seen some of the more extreme examples. (overdone tone mapping, fisheye lenses).
The whole concept is to widen the dynamic range, and I find myself saying to myself that that's what I intend to do with it: imitate what the eye sees — especially when it comes to nature shots and architectural interiors.
I installed a copy of Photomatix Pro, and acquired the McCollugh book on HDR. In that book, one of the photographers predicted that there will come a day when high-end (at least) digicams will include HDR software. I think he's right!