I guess as a very old photographer I am used to getting the light right in the camera so lab work is at the very minimum - like Cartier Bresson.
High Dynamic Range is something that never worries me in terms of pushing it. It must be the way that I spray light around so the dark spots get a tickle of flash to help it along
This is often presented as a panacea of photography, but in fact it's not, even when taking the example of people and not a massive cliff for a landscape photographer or a bird or something, which are much more difficult to light.
Once I started looking at the intricacies of lighting and how it affects the face, skin, eyes and so on, I realised that some things can only be done with natural light. For example, I know a wedding photographer who uses fill flash extensively. He sent me a photo that he loved and the first thing that I noticed was the incredible forward facing shine on the makeup which wouldn't have been there without the flash. I also noticed the pin light in the otherwise dark eyes. Neither looked attractive to my eyes.
If you want to really get it "right" a large (very large) light source is needed and you need to block out the available light as much as possible and relight from scratch. If you're doing fill light, you need to be exact about the colour temperature of the light source or you can just tell the extra light is there. Or at least I can.
This was shot with a large light source to camera left, balanced for the ambient. Since the flash was the key light, I could get away with some of the things that I note above:P.S this wasn't the final version of this file - it was done before LR4 and I overbrushed one or two areas. It's just the only one I have available to link.
In the cases where you don't have the option to setup a massive lighting rig, pushing the shadows might give a more pleasing (to my eye) shot than using some fill flash. That's why I say adding fill light is not the panacea it's presented as in my eyes...
Of course, this is entirely a personal opinion