In order to display the transparency in the view port (not supported in Max3) you just have to use the Display Material option in the material editor, don't show the texture in Diffuse or opacity window but in the standard mode.
This is really useful to tweak the Alfa channels in real-time, I used it to see my faked tree, feathers and fog in the view port.
The 3D Total textures were very useful for me to make this picture, with good resolution diffuse and "bump" maps, they are also sorted by colours, that is really what you need when you want to work on a certain style or atmosphere. You also have good optimised low rez textures with the high rez version and Tillable. You will also find some shaders-Mat for max4. I particularly appreciated the wood textures, skies and stones. All of them are well sorted in a html page with previews in thumbnails, thanks Tom to give me the opportunity to try this CD!