Wish I could help, but I don't know what to suggest. :/ Problem solving these things is difficult with the actual files available to you. Without it's near impossible. Good luck. Hopefully BlinkBoy comes back soon.
I chose this method because the importing/exporting process (especially importing...) is so damn unpredictable when it comes to animation. Since I've done it before, I know I can get reasonable results this way. Had I started learning using the method you use, perhaps that's what I would stick too. I just don't trust the plugins enough to experiment with them too much. I could commit some time to playing around with projects that I'm not worried about damaging, but I would prefer to spend my free time doing something that will actually result in a completed project.
I've been using the method in 3d studio max where you divide up your mesh into different objects and when you export them they are stitched back together, which is absolutely awful for previewing the final look of your animation. I haven't been able to figure out animation any other way, so it's better than nothing.
Max beats the hell out any of the free warcraft modeling tools, but for me it's been hell trying to export anything out of prior to the last year or so. I noticed you said you weren't able to figure out neodex until recently. What were you having troubles with? I spent 5 or so years aware of art tools and the old outdated neodex tools, not realizing that they had been updated and usable for never versions of Max. That was one of the most frustrating discoveries of my life. :|
How would you like to join my modding team of Colossal Productions as our 3D Artist? Colossal Productions is made up of jones080, jxtranghero, hades17, Champara Bros, newbchu,
AL0NE, Blood Raven, GangSpear, eubz, Verdun and me.
Our goal is to make quality maps for peoples enjoyment. If you are asking, what would I do? You would just simply provide us 3D resources to be used in our maps.
If you have any more questions, please fell free to VM/PM me.
Also, our current projects are located in my signature.