Re: DEvmaster.net article Hl2 vs D3 engine.
I know that Brian Harris is the intern from Digipen that id hired, which would make him a valid source except for the fact that you didn't give me a link, only his quote. I seriously doubt that those high of poly models worked since you get hiccups on screen when you have 2 or more of the low-poly models. Links would be nice for the rest of stuff; it's not that I don't believe I just want to read more into it.
Did you even listen to John Carmack at QuakeCon? He mentioned those as engine problems when asked what can be improved in the next iteration. Can you also show me a link to some of this HDR stuff, because the last I heard they implemented, but couldn't get the desired results so they decided to not pursue it any furthur? I would also like to see a link to the plastic vs. fixed screenshots, because I haven't seen anything of the sort yet.