I think people aim to much at getting a maximum amount of poly's in their character here
Thing is you have to model as efficient as possible even in next next gen if you can do a character with 6000 tris don't make it 8000.
And Hammer if you are really making a gamecharacter try doing a retopology workflow;
-make basemeshes in maya( do a quick uv mapping)
-go to ZBrush/mudbox for high detailing
-go to maya import a midres model back into maya and make a lowresscage of the midress model(I use DRAster tools from Nex it has a great "make live"tool which makes it very easy to draw over de midress creating a efficient lowpoly character then do a proper uv mapping and bake the normal map with a tool called XNormal (very good tool it makes better normal maps and easier then ZBrush and can handle more poly's then Maya)