The next is also a conversion from RAW to JPG, but I fiddled around with the various sliders, such as exposure, contrast, and clarity during the conversion. A little bit better and great for, say, a web site showing pictures of an event where you want to simply record what happened (by the way, if I recall correctly, he's yelling at the waitress, "Yo, hot lips, whaddaya got on tap?" Okay, maybe not).
Different from the custom RAW conversion - more depth to color and contrast (and again, I set the controls, and someone else might want something different). In my opinion, it makes a better picture for display or conversion into black and white.
Detail enhancement - depending on the range of shadows, midtones, and highlights - can get funky. HDR images processed like this take on a drawn picture quality and some surreal effects can be had when you start taking controls to their extremes.
But that's the whole point - you may want to because you like it like that. I personally like this shot done with detail enhancement. After messing with it in Photomatix, I brought it into Photoshop and played around with a Levels adjustment layer.
I like this and I purposely saved the HDR file so I can play around with it more. With the processing, it looks more like a painting and the FDNY t-shirt and the beer barrels in the background make it seem like Mikey O'Donahue just got off his shift with Engine Company 66 in the Bronx and stopped for a boilermaker on his way home, and has spotted a friend on the other side of the bar.
What's your preference? There are basics that must be followed: always work at getting the best you can in composition, framing, lighting, focus, exposure, etc. But that rule sometimes will not apply when a blurred image may be best for invoking a sense of movement, or a heavily "solarized" picture with blown-out highlights and black shadows brings back the "acid rock" mood of the 70's. Photography is art. Not everyone likes Monet, not everyone gets Pollack. Shoot what makes you happy.