After examining both images, my impression is that the C1 image has more luminance noise whereas the LR image has more chroma noise. (Obviously these can be balanced out via the appropriate noise reduction sliders.) Also, I see some artifacts near the corners of the woman's lips and at the end strands of the woman's hair in the LR image; this might have to do with the Detail slider for sharpening. What do you think?
I've looked and looked at the two images. My next step was to plan on "adjusting" the image with both packages, and put up a similar post (I know, lots of room for personal judgment there). I agree with your assessment on noise. If we're "splitting hairs" (no pun intended) look at the part in her hair, and the small loop that appears near the bacl. I think the C1 version has more detail, but the LR version has more of the loop (go figure)...
Also, I intentionally went away from the focus point, and into an area where depth of field would have made the image "softer" to begin with. We're talking about loss of details here, and in my mind, if you are going to lose them, then that is where to look. I would hope both do reasonably well at the focus point. The C1 image looks a bit "harsher" (look at her eyebrows), but I"m not sure that is more detail...
The was no LR Detail applied as all sliders were set to zero (unless LR is doing some detail before presenting the image), and as I said, this doesn't show anything regarding what happens to the images after we start using the sliders. This was my attempt to just show how each package handles the image on import with nothing applied.
It is on higher ISOs, that we started seeing the effects of Sharpening vs. NR vs Detail, etc. under LR. If you want the original just let me know. You can download the C1 beta for free and try them side by side..
From a useability standpoint, LR (in my opinion) is a better tool, and I'm not even talking about Workflow. I've used C1, RSP, ACR, Canon's DPP, and others. I think that (once you get past the whole library thing) LR is a better experience. I just wish they would get this high ISO noise/sharpening thing correct and I'd be a happy camper!