Gentleman, choose your weapons. It's a level playing field today, the sun is high and the media blimp is up there also proving once again that elephants do fly.
Among all the 3d graphics applications there is no best best ones. You can see this better on the Linux platform where folks are articulate and picky. The underlaying math either does it or doesn't and that is veiled by a thin GUI layer. Without a doubt the so-called best is thought of as the one where you can tweak everything but the name. But wait, there is another, so suave and sophisticated, you only have to gesture and it's done. Who shall hold the title as the best all around 3D graphics application is anybody's guess. OK anybody, it's your guess, you've got 30 seconds and the clock is ticking. tick, tick, tick...........wait he's going back to get his pencil. He's writing something, holding up a sign. "NOT ENOUGH TIME!
I know that. Here in the Linuxville guide château where the idea has been to survey, see what's out there, has come to realize the GUI is the "interface" or the "in your face", it's what's behind it that matters, mostly. Maybe the GUI is a little shack sitting on an immense catacomb of capability. Maybe the GUI is a 27 bedroom mansion with a matching basement. If you want 2D graphics, you can hit-n-run with a paint program, or get serious with a photo editor. 3D gives you no option, you must move in, stay there for a while and learn the secrets.
Hey, Mr.rno, you been messin wid K3D, how's it going? Well there's some work slowdowns, because the documentation to go further is not user friendly enough. There is too much I have to figure out to really do something. Even if I spent the time some things are awkward for a noobie-won. K3D is not bad for making model geometry, but gets laborious beyond that. I will keep poking at it to see if what's there will suffice.
I also am poking around Blender 3D. Folks need to stop saying the Blender interface is difficult to learn. True there is a lot of interface, but you don't use it all at once. The big thing with Blender is that there are video tutorials that show and tell, making a text and picture tutorial a pain in the eye socket. I have viewed several beginner tutorials and I feel pretty good about learning Blender.
So if you are wanting to model in Blender, you shouldn't be bothered by all the stuff for animation, unless you are doing animation. The secret of using Blender 3D is using it. The videos let you hear the interface explained, seeing it in action takes away the complexity. All those experienced Blender users are making forums buzz and video tutorials and models and games from the community make Blender a force to be reckoned with.
What would help Blender is not the shortcut keys on each command button, but using something like Conky. I encountered Conky in #!Crunchbang Linux. Conky is a heads-up on screen display that shows CPU temps, speed, etc and a text field which can list keyboard shortcuts. This is so cool and handy.