thanks for your appreciation!
It might be a little late to answer. Sorry, I just saw there were new posts on this “old” thread.
I have divided opinion about modeling characters in Houdini.
First, I'd like to say Houdini is an amazing sofware, no doubt about it.
However, depending of what you want to do, it's not necessarily the software you need.
If you want to do character/organic modeling, Houdini will be able to do the job and like other says, it as more or less the similar basic features than other packages. However, I don't think it's the easiest and most intuitive package for character modeling.
If you want to do mostly character modeling I would actually suggest to learn ZBrush(or similar sculpting programs). For character modeling, it's totally the way to go.
Actually, the latest character modeling pipeline test I did was using mostly Zbrush and Topogun. https://vimeo.com/39210017
In terms of precision and speed, it's definetly a winner for me, I will keep on using this technique from now on.
I also used a bit of Maya of uvs and model fine tuning, but it could have been Houdini for that matter, it would have made no difference.
On the other hand, if you want to do fxs, technical work or procedural modeling …go for Houdini without hesitations.