I can see the exact same demosaic "chequerboarding" in Doug's C1 conversion as I've been talking about on the Phase One forum - it's not pretty, and has no place in software positioning itself at the top of the IQ tree. The Lr conversions (and Rob's) simply don't show this, and are far better for it.
This artifact is visible to some extent at any ISO, incidentally.
I've also got a feeling that the extra detail Rob is seeing in his comparison is actually this harsh artifact, rather than sharpness per se: but I know from my own experience that it is counter-productive to fine detail (fine feather detail, for example) because it breaks that detail up, and because its removal takes too much NR. You can see something of this in the texture of the black phone cradle in Rob's examples.
Look at the flex in both images too - or at any edge, in fact. In the C1 image edges are routinely ragged, uneven and messy. Lr's demosaic and NR retain edges a lot better, which again has a direct relevance to fine detail and sharpness.
The issue is pretty subjective and a lot of users feel the exact opposite as you (here, on other forums, and offline). While I'm surprised (after re-examining it) to hear you refer to the grain in Capture One is such strongly negative terms, but I can see where you'd prefer LightRooms' grain structure (even if I do not), and it's great that we have multiple raw developers that each might suit different user's tastes!
Elsewhere in this image the skintones, highlight/shadow color accuracy, color noise, fine detail, chromatic aberration, tonal transitions and overall "look" (indefinable but utterly important) are other topics for debate and are very important to deciding which developer works best for you. Not to mention that whole "workflow" thing.
Anyway the whole point is to debate it so I guess we'll agree to disagree!
Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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