Not sure if you guys have heard about Byron's Poly tools or not. This is definately "the" best plugin for Maya when working with polygons to improve workflow. I've got it, and its awesome. Its still in Beta for Maya6, (older versions work fine) but even the Beta has saved me tons of work time.
Its costs 50 EUR, approx $65 USD, but believe me, its worth it.. theres even a good soft selection tool which you can adjust how much it affects surrounding vertices.
I use Maya 6, and the only real bug is that sometimes you lose your shader while working in shaded mode, but all you have to do is go into hypershade and reapply the shader.. no biggie. And make sure you delete history and the byronimo node from the outliner before saving. Thats it.
Hope this helps...