Hi iToo Software!
I haven't done so many renderings lately since I got tired of 3dsMax that I have been using for years.
I know there are many 3D programs out there, like 3dsMax, Cinema4D, Revit and Rhino to name a few. I don't name SketchUp since I think thats a useless app unless you only going to use the program during a month. If you are going to use the program for months or years my biggest advice will always be to learn something else, you save that time later easily.
I don't know if the main focus of iToo software plugins are architectural visualization specifically, maybe its also big variation in the renderindustry including movieanimation production.
But as a architectural visualizer I think 3ds Max is a bad tool for everything included in the architecture modeling. Rhino and Grasshopper is a tool I use a lot, and I often use that combination to solve things for rendering purposes, shure MaxScript is powerful to but Grasshopper is very versatile.
The main reason I still use 3dsMax together with Vray is that Vray version is often updated first and Rhino plugin a bit after that. The second is material creation that I think 3ds Max has better tools with falloff maps and different stuff and the third and big reason is that Forest Pack exist for 3ds Max. Forest Pack has such a good way to hold and work with extremly high polycount in a fast and efficient way.
But it is so many downsides, that lies in 3ds Max. The export import thing is the biggest one, and it is very bad for architectural modeling with clumpsy tools compared to Rhinoceros.
So please look into Rhino! At a meeting on one of your events in Sweden two years ago I met a visualization company that worked with Rhino to produce visualizations. And they where mostly there to see what Forest Pack offered, shure Forest Pack is better then the Grasshopper combination but the 3dsMax downsides was the reason they didn't switch to Forest Pack.
Check Rhinoceros out a more I think that program is more suited towards the architectural part of visualizations where you still want a highlevel of detail of the model of the building and its surrounding compared to what Revit can supply and afford and the clumpsy tools of 3dsMax for that purpose.