I have been reluctant to get Photomatix, as very little I have seen in the way of HDR images looks "real." Most have halos, or color that is "off," or in other ways looks artificially processed. While that is OK for a surrealistic effect, I wanted HDR for, say, a landscape scene that is just beyond the dynamic range of my 1DII.
I tried the "Tone Compression" option and found that it really did not do the job for me, despite what most Photomatix users recommend. I found a tutorial from 6/25/09 by Mat Kozlowski on the NAPP website that uses the Detail Enhancer settings but leaves most of them at the defaults. He then imports the resultant tiff into Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust the contrast, saturation, etc.
I tried his method on an image using exposure compensation of +/- 3 stops, and the results were better than anything I could get using the Tone Compression method.
Unfortunately, the tutorial requires logging on to the NAPP site, so those who do not belong are out of luck here. But for those who can log on, follow his logic and method.