This is a fun one. I am not sure if the JPEG really shows the details well, but when using the sheet effects (blur, displace, and transperency) on multiple layered sheets (4 sheets layered) I have found what I think is a very nice look, giving a sense of different climate effects. CC3 is really advancing, allowing for maps that have a great look. My goal is not to make 'photo realistic' maps (though I love those greyhawk ones someone posted) but to create maps that provide a lot of data in a visually appealing fashion.
This map is a large on (this is about 1/6 of the total) and has taken about 55 hours so far (figuring out the sheet effects has been a bear).
Part of the trick is the mixing of bitmap fills to provide texture, then plain fills using various levels of transperancy, edge blur, and displacement.