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Thanks for the compliment, FlyPenFly.
I agree with millsart --- the "X3 Fill Light" slider is a quick and easy way to recover shadows/highlights, but the results tend to be heavy-handed and unnatural. I'm working on figuring how to handle exposure/processing for the images. What works best for me so far is to use DPP to set sharpness=-2, turn down exposure to keep highlights un-clipped (letting everything else be underexposed for now), and export as TIFF/16. Then I can import the TIFF in Aperture, crank the exposure back up to proper levels, while using Aperture's adjustments to compress highlights/shadows into viewable range (the files appear to have a lot of headroom for highlight recovery, but DPP doesn't provide good tools for taking advantage of this), and apply less heavy-handed final sharpening.
Unfortunately, DPP seems to apply different color/tonal curves to the reduced-exposure image than simple linear scaling (causing mid-tones to desaturate and lose contrast), so I can't do this as much as I want (1 stop seems to be OK, but 2 stops is too much). I'm still trying to figure out the best way to squeeze the full available exposure information into a TIFF/16 so I can handle the rest of the post-processing outside of DPP.
A few more pictures: