Cycles is just getting better and better with each update. I did a quick render of a simple setup here to show a comparison. The top image was rendered with Cycles, all of the objects are using “Diffuse” set to the default white. I left the default lamp in, rather than setting up a lamp using the “Emission” material setting.
On the bottom, the Environment lighting is turned on otherwise the setup is the same. Looking at the realize provide by Cycles, it is clear that it was worth the extra render time.