blown and clipped on both ends is lovely if you're going for that sort of lookNeat, my question is why shoot mid-day? I dont know what situation you were in but afternoon light is less harsh. A d800 shot at noon will look blown out and uglier than a P&S shot done at the proper time.
I was shooting from noon till dawn, and by now I know where it gets tricky - in high contrast I need a fill flash (fill light in LR just isn't the same), and action shots (i.e. high shutter = high iso = less dr) are out of the question or it looks like a p&s.
But good :-> to hear the d800 also doesn't do it, I cannot say how big the real world advantage is at low iso - I just have one guy in mind that posted beach volleyball shots here and said the d800 really made the difference.And to think I didn't have as many stops of DR as the D800. Man what my photos could have been...
Please do take not I'm not saying you cannot do good high contrast shots with Canon - it just takes more thought, equipment, knowledge & postprocessing and some limited scenes simply are dr-limited.
One notorious example are shots with the sun in the frame - the corona is more or less pronounced according to dr range (unless you do hdr bracketing) and/or the front shadows have more definition. Since I really like backlit nature scenes maybe I stumble across it more often than others.
I prefer mine
append - those are pretty much straight out of camera, BTW
Ahem, my samples have subject matter which you obviously discount. Which none of your sample's have.