I have used Lightwave for a year or two, but since finding out that Newtek isn't planning on ironing out the bugs (that have been there since version 6 or so) in version 9, I've stepped over to Modo recently.
Version 103 has a wonderfully efficient and extremely fast workflow, some really great tools and it can comfortably handle models almost 6 times as complex as LW Modeler can.
The last few days I've tinkered on the laptop of a friend of mine, who has Modo 201 (the trail isn't for download yet, so I can't try it at home), and the renderer is amazing. I don't know much about lighting, but I do know something about renderspeed, and it's stunning. The ZBrush-like painting system also seems good in theory, but I couldn't get it to work.
I think I'll take Modo as my standard modeler.