My problem now is finding a suitable mesh format. I don't like how .3DS lacks precomputed normal data. I am very familiar with .X and need something that contains bone data... I also want material structures to contain mutliple textures such as detail map, bump map etc... I am thinking of writing an X loader and converter to a custom file format.
I am still surprised I can't find a format already out that I am happy with though. I have looked at .OBJ, .3DS, .MD3, .X