Personaly i think lightwave had fairly good layering as even being new to the program i could minipulate the layers easily and confidently. Also a few other features i would like to see... Alias should check maya forums as well as other 3d application forums to see whats succesfull and whats needed to append to future products.
i just wish there was a knife tool for maya 4
(but from what i understand theres a version in maya 4.5 and 5)
I agree with the snapping though... also if there were more grid options(im not sure if theres not because im fairly new to maya), sometimes i find the grid is the right size in one part of the project, but too small or large in another...
I dont know if i helped your arguement though.
Catch me if i'm on. Always up for a chat.