A few suggestions to get you started:
Element 3D does good 3D extrusions, and is relatively cheap and easy to use. It's not super stable, but it is fast, but it usually gets the job done.
3D Invigorator Pro is slower, has less features, but does include Ray Tracing, and is generally very stable and repeatable. Also has fantastic customer service.
After Effects CS 6 can do 3D text natively.
As Arivl said, there is no need for third-party plug-in; you can do this with After Effects CS6.
I would prefer to go with Element 3D as it is 100% OpenGL. It doesn't use CUDA or Optix like After Effects CS6.
See these articles for Ray - Raytracing in After Effects:
For Element 3D:
I feel your best bet is Zaxwerks Proanimator.
Not only does it create beautiful 3D text, it animates then in a manner that Element cant touch.
Its very fast at rendering as well. 3D text in AE at this point doenst have the variety of looks or the speed of Proanimator.
Check it out. I think you will agree.