Does anyone remember when Velvia was scoffed at by some photographers because the colors were too saturated? People said it wasn't real. Some photographic disciplines refused to use it or take any photograph shot with it seriously because it did not render colors they way they thought they should be. As photographers, we have a tool box, fortunately today it's a pretty good, big tool box, and we can choose the tool we want to use to satisfy our vision. Not everyone has the same vision. I will occasionally use HDR (oh the horror, oh the humanity) to achieve my vision. To me, I use it as if I had a giant softbox fill flash, not to create something surreal. But if you like surreal, knock yourself out. I was riding the bus on the far side of the Savage River in Denali a few years ago. There was a group of photographers in the seats in front of me, one of whom you would knew of if I mentioned his name. They were talking about how bad HDR was, but they all used focus stacking. It sounded to me as if they really liked box-end wrenches, but really hated sockets. Different tools. To me HDR is to exposure what focus stacking is to depth of field. Use what you like, produce what you want to produce, but don't make the I'm right so you must be wrong argument.
That's not aimed at anyone, by the way. Just my comments. I could be wrong.