Yeah, I like photoshop's tools, but to avoid the smoothness of most photoshop paintings I use a variety of sharpening.
Some people say it looks like a collage of photos, but still I'd prefer it over photoshopiness.
That and I'm not really interested in emulating paint in painter.
BTW, your 3D stuff is pretty cool.
I've been dabbling in 3D since the quake 2 days with milkshape 3D and even painted my own bumpmaps in Serious Sam. Even before that I was doing small little castles and objects in Ray Dream Design (and moved on to Blender, 3DSMAX, Cinema 4D, Maya before Discreet bought it, etc, etc).
Hell I even painted heightmaps in photoshop to make for terrain in Bungie's Myth TFL series back in 97.
I decided to focus more on 2D because I really want it to be tight before I start doing stuff in 3D.
I think I'm getting there, but I'm disappointed I've let so much pass me by like Z-Brush and now 3D Coat--both which I followed closely since development.