First off, brilliant modeling. I like the original version too, but the original render reminded me somewhat of old Bryce renders. No offense, because old Bryce renders are often VERY cool too! At one time, believe it or not, Bryce's ray-trace engine was on the cutting edge of realistic rendering algorithms, with support for (faked) caustics, and volumetric refractions a few years before those things were even available in some high end applications. Anyway (I digress), this new render is much more realistic due in part to the simplified background, the clearer lighting, and more realistic reflections. Well done!