Since I started modeling 4 years ago I have always started with polys and converted them over to Sub- D's to get the really nice smooth effect instead of just poly smoothing everything. But recently I have started to use Mental Ray and seem to be having alot of trouble getting things to render without runing out of Memory. Curretnly I am trying to create a 4 block city and recently ordered a Gnomon DVD on lighting for Outdoor Sets.
So the real question is what do most people use for? Still Images, Animations, Interiors, Vast Landscapes / CityScapes.