Right now i am testing a new tool for doing 3D pictures. DAZ Studio 4.5 . I am not that fond of the renderer but i have found several others on the net that i can use with some tweeking.
The user interface is nice and you have thrre to select. One is very user friendly if you are just starting out with 3D images. You get some assets to start experimenting with and best of all it is free.
Go over to http://www.daz3d.com/ and check it out.
Started to work on some new meshes using blender and to my big suprise Blender 2.62 works with my Spacenavigator.
Finally it is much easyer to nav the 3D space. My first mesh looks good in Second life to.