Ever since someone on the forum pointed me to the skin feature of Daz Studio, I found myself addicted to it, and realized how much possibility it opens up.
Not only I can specify the surface type (skin, plastic ....), I can also replace the primary color of the service. So a white gown can be turned into a pink gown with just a specify the surface color. Of course it's definitely not as natural as changing the texture file of the the selected surface.
That brings to something even more exciting: I can even replace the image map file associated with the surface. That opens up tons of possibility of totally changing the look of a model.
My next step will be trying out the shadow casting ability.