I would like to see Aglet's best photo work, so I can learn from a true master. Does he have photos online anywhere? I think I've seen Mikael's best work, and it is lacking. Mikael, you should visit England, they have nicer landscapes.
As for underexposing to get highlights...you're still limiting the number of bits at the dark end, are you not? So what if there's less noise with the D800? I could post some shots I've done where I've lifted underexposures by 3 or 4 stops with my 5 year old crop camera, and was able to get something usable...sure it has some banding noise (only used CS5). But what Mikael is showing here, to me looks like he's used NR on the Nikon image, and none on the Canon...which is why you all keep asking for the RAW files. Most of those red splotches go away with a heavy amount of color NR, while also sliding the "color detail" slider down close to zero...and again that's just in ACR.
A jpeg is only 8 bits. How does DXO "print" their pictures? Are they printing from a 16 bit or 32 bit file of some kind? If so, how many different shades of ink are going into that print? Not billions, right?
Frankly, the most reproduced "apparent" dynamic range I've seen, has been on my own home theater screen. It's micro-glass beaded, and as long as you're near the plane of the projector, the highlights jump out at you in a very vibrant, natural way...and colors get very saturated. You could never see that in a print on any kind of paper...maybe it could get close on aluminum, if it was lit with a very bright source at the correct temperature. But the folks who will print your image on aluminum (that I know of)...only use either 8 bit jpeg, or 8 bit TIFF files.