Well, we've few votes but everything looks like the poll about the next character timelapsed video is going for the old cowboy.
I'm doing a lot of experimentation with the opensource software. I've years of experience with 3dsmax. I've 3dsmax 2012 license so I've tested all the last improvements. I can say that Blender has strong enough 3d tools to do what a character designer needs. It's an "all in one" crossplatform program (Win, Linux, Mac).
In of more or less 130Mb (the download file is even small) you have even more things than in the Autodesk package. Like the digital sculpt tools.
I'm going to share with you in "CC by" some .blend files that is the Blender format (you can export to obj always to import in any other soft) so...
Visit the website and download it> Blender.