About ten years ago I saw a neon sign that was in the shape of a shirt and said shirts inside and wanted to include in a photo. It was hard to get the neon and the rest of the scene to balance out then came HDR. I saw that same neon in another cleaners with all the racks up front. I thought that would make a great shot, judge for yourself. Make sure you click the photo so you can see the detail!
Here is the shot that "tries" capture everthing within range without HDR. Compare it to the HDR above.
I think the HDR looks much better. There are some people that don't like HDR because they say it looks fake. I'll admit the final outcome is open to artistic interitation. Some of my work looks like a Norman Rockwell paint (I've been told). Sometimes I want the image to look realistic and sometimes I like a little creative interpitation depending on the scene.