For what it’s worth, I prefer the “‘Best effort’ with curves/bright/contrast/sat/etc in PS CS4” images in both examples orionid posted above. Everyone has their own aesthetic, but for me tone mapping and HDR tend to produce results that look like something generated by animation software which was designed to look “real”. There’s something artificial about them to me. YMMV of course, and I’m not arguing for or against any change in the rules here. I’m just noting a personal opinion.
I agree with Choc and while the beach shot is lovely, I think it looks way too processed for what I understood we could use in Farktography.
I’ve never done any HDR nor do I know what tone-mapping equates to in the Capture NX2 world, but that picture looks like what I think of as HDR. Since we’re allowed to do Curves adjustments, I guess it’s kind of hard to say how much of that is allowed though.