This doesn't seem right to me - these techniques are only going to work if the detail is present in the original digital file. The original purpose of HDR was to work around the fact that digital sensors are only 12-16 bit devices. As such, they have a very limited dynamic range. HDR allows you to take a few frames at different exposures and combine them into a digital file that has 32-bit pixels. With 32-bits, you have much much more dynamic range. Once you have that 32-bit file, I can see how an unsharp mask techniques can then be applied to get the effects you describe.
The particular "look" of HDR images is tonal compression in the extreme areas. Thiscontext-sensitive tone-mapping requires a "deep" picture, but I see a lot of "HDR" images on flickr that are made from a single RAW file, which may in many cases have less tonal range than a color neg