My eye was immediately caught by this piece, by 'Theomar Pius'. I found it on CMON.
A scratch built temple of time from Zelda! I have a soft spot for Zelda. Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time were not only fantastic games but the first I owned and played. It's less of a soft spot and more of a weak spot really. I own every version of OOT you can get including the 3DS game - which I play on my limited edition Zelda 3DS.
That aside, this piece is still great on its own terms. It would be a fantastic centrepiece to a gaming table. Or any table. Every table! The painting in Theomar Prius' gallery isn't mind blowing but he does his models justice. If they were released as kits I'd be overjoyed and wearing a suit made of Temples of Time.
Below are a couple more pieces from their gallery.
Theomar Pius - http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/member.php?26657-Theomar%20Pius
Next up I found the 'Manorhouse Workshop' who specialise in resin kits of everything from houses to eqyptian temples. It's not the biggest spread but they do some neat things.
This is a custom made model of Helm's Deep, with GW miniatures on it. It's not one of their standard kits but I thought it was quite cool.
One of the house units on the table is about 40 euro, so still a bit steeply priced for what you get. They are more varied and interesting than a number of equivalents and can be used by people who don't get spontaneous skull-boners.
Actually looking at some of their other stuff I did think these guys were still expensive when I initially came across them, but it's an alternative anyway if you have money coming out your butt.
Manorhouse Workshop - http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/ManorhouseWorkshop?browseid=2085656
The next two pieces are by Monolith Icon, and are still very expensive but I think they warrant most of their price tag.
Monolith Icon - http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/micon?browseid=2085672
Next up appears to be a gaming board for a specialist game about being pirates and scallywags on boats. It's both gorgeous and a nice change from castles ruins and crumbly churches.
Team Toulouse - http://www.ttcreation.com/
The following is a piece by CMON user 'Showtime40k'. There's only a few entries by him but they are all worth taking a look. The thing that intrigued me in particular is that they are all made using parts by a company called Armorcast.
I've looked at Armorcast stuff before on their terrible 90's website. I never felt compelled to buy any or seek out any pieces made using their output - the pieces always looked a bit rough and rubbish. Seeing this work has made me think that may have just been because my eyes were being assaulted by serif fonts and ultramarine blue backgrounds while I tried to look at them. The site is hideous and I've decided after doing this the pictures they have on it don't do their pieces justice.
This ruins set is $57. It's a fair size and fairly unique. You can buy small portions for $10, like dilapidated walls and corners from Armorcast too.
Looking through their stock actually I judged them too harshly before. Some of it is horribly sculpted tat, but it's cheap if it is. Most of it is pretty cool and not excessively expensive. The ruins above are one of the more expensive things and I think they are very visually interesting. More natural than the GW equivalents.
Showtime40k - http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/showtime40k?browseid=2085717
Armorcast - http://www.armorcast.com/
Now for my favourite pieces I found! These are all by Tabletop World. There are more cool building on their site and I fully approve of the pricing for what you get. It's probably the best out of what I have found. They have both unpainted and painted pictures available so I have posted them in pairs.
The house shown first is their 'Merchant's House' and costs 60 euros, so about £45 at the moment. I would give my left arm to have their pieces, even at that price. They are a good deal bigger than the GW equivalents - their fantasy houses and watchtower. It looks so unique and characterful I think if I found one I'd wee myself with delight. If that's a thing you can do in a delightful way, anyway. Ok - if I weed myself I would still be delighted, how's that sound instead?
Still not great, I agree. They are resin and the site is well worth a look round for some amazing designs. I'm jealous of anyone who get's any of these!
The Guard Tower in the background is 113 euros, so about £75. It's half a metre tall! The insides are fully designed at well - not just external eye candy!
Tabletop World - http://www.coolminiornot.com/artist/Tabletop+World?browseid=2085704
I originally set out to find some hand made pieces on CMON and similar sites but found as I looked most of the great pieces were done by companies. So if you're looking around and you see some unique, or unrecognized models, read further on the page and you might come across something commercially available and cool!
The following is for people who want atmospheric and aesthetically pleasing terrain but maybe don't have the time, inclination, skill or money to learn to make it themselves.
Terraclips. These were originally designed with Malifaux in mind but have since expanded to cover nore types of scenery. They are basically heavy plastic/card stock buildings and areas with specially designed clips so that they can be assembled in a modular way. There's no painting and minimal assembly. I saw some at a stall once and when the person running it wasn't looking tried to break a house. I couldn't in the ten seconds I had without being noticed, so I can vouch to some level of hardiness to them.
These are the pictures from the Worldworksgames site but they do look totally boss in real life. The only reason I'm not desperate to have them is that I mucho prefer making things myself. The worldworksgames site is well worth checking out - they have their precursors to the terraclips for very low prices and they are equally as cool.
Worldworks Games - http://www.worldworksgames.com/store/
Finally I've just found something called Antenocitis Workshop, which is a site dealing in all sorts of different terrain including their own original pieces and all of it is beautiful and really well priced. I can feel my wallet drooling.
Antenocitis Workshop - http://www.antenocitisworkshop.com/
It's too late for me to post anymore; I've been writing this for ages.
I've only just scratched the surface but you can already see that there are amazing sources of scenery and terrain out there extending past the skull buffet hint eua d'skull and skull trim. There's both cheaper and more expensive option but pretty much all of it is more interesting and well designed than the pants you can get in a GW store.