Just to let you all know what's going on: I'm moving away from mapping and towards modeling for the time being because I'm running into many symptoms of my map being too full. I'm exceeding vert buffers everywhere, turning on your flashlight will instantly crash the game (dynamically lit vert buffer overflow), waterindicies at 85+%, and the like.
So, the majority of my time now is going to be spent blocking out props in Hammer, then exporting them to XSI to build them up, then switching between XSI and Gimp (and Agave and Inkscape at points) to get a nice UV map from which I can build the diffuse, specular and normal maps. If you couldn't tell, I've settled into quite a nice Linux/Windows workflow across my two computers.
I've been experimenting with a self-shadowing bumpmap plugin I found on the Interloper's forums, too, and if I get to the point where I'm extremely satisfied with the results, I'll post up some screenshots.
Thanks to everyone who's decided to watch Everything Dies and all those who have left comments, be they here or on Interlopers - you guys make this whole process a lot more worthwhile.
Also (wow, I can hear the laughter already), Everything Dies now has it's own Facebook page. When I want to show off something, but don't consider it to be of ModDB quality, I'll post it there.
Go add it now! Inflate my ego!