Hay Rayne sorry about the late late response.
Flajjen is right it can be done and it's only an issue of whats hard to do becomes easy over time which is just the nature of 3d in general.
The problems with putting content into the idtech3 engine is a case of the artist having to work around the limitations of the engine based on a desired result balanced with the need to maintain an optimized result by trading one problem for another.
I think it's safe to say that making a map that others enjoy playing on is hard to do no mater how easy the tools makes building 3d space a snap.
To help you guys along I'm willing to make an offer.
I know you and Johnny are working with 3ds Max so if you two get together and make a small map, say the size of Abbey, and focus 100% on what it takes to make it look good in that application, I'll be willing to take your results and show you what it takes to to get a full renderosity lighting solution, complete with ray traced shadows and light bounce, into the idtech3 engine.
You guys take the time to do this I'll take the time to document the a workable process and solution and give you guys back a working setup and leave it up to CMM to figure out the optimization requirements.