I hate to say it but i agree, glow just looks bad, if you're going to add glow it needs to fit the image, like a light coloured highly saturated picture (i think thats what he ment about rendering too... but you can just tweak some things and you get a much nicer richer picture/background). Or You can manually create your own glow which is harder but a lot better, it has a more natural look and you can add more artistic flare. I Dont like the font filled with gradient, gradients again just look tacky, the only good gradients i find are ones which are multi layered and have different blending modes to create more dynamic colours, or its there to fit within colour scheme. If you're going for something simple stick to plain colours or like in Pheonix's sig have it transparent. I also agree its a little empty.
As for the sig, i think the gradient on the left ruins it, there's no need for that lighter tone there, it takes the balance out of the sig because most of the dark area's are slightly offcenter of the middle, that gold colour is nice and bright but the light side on the left draws attention away from it (think about it on a greyscale level). Also the typography isnt central to that bar that goes through the sig, in a way i can understand why you did it, if you're trying to get the top of the font in line with the bottom of the engine hole on the right. Otherwise i have no clue why, and i fail to see why you have the A in A.E touching the border. I think the stock looks great in it, i love what you've done to it, i just feel the rest of the picture is too distracting/not correctly placed and unbalanced.
if you asked me to rate it thought it'd be 6/10, the banner would be 5/10 Fire Pheonix's sig i think wud be 7/10 maybe 8, i just dont like how things are cutting into teh borders