A lot of people seem to think that polygons with 3 or 5 sides are bad when converted into SubD's, especially in other packages but also in Maya. I've never seen any other valid reason given (for Maya) than that it makes the file slower and heavier, and creates bumps where you might want smoothness. (Oh, and that MR can't render non-quads yet.) Perhaps there's also a sense that it takes a lot of effort and patience and some skill to keep it all quads, and the resulting mesh has a more pleasing 'clean' look to it.
But personally I've never noticed any slow-down. As you can see above I've integrated triangles and 5-sides into my modeling method. It's a very easy way to add bumps and discontinuities, and not having to worry about edgeloops is a relief and a timesaver, and keeps the polygonal model slightly lighter. It also works fine with deformations; here's a rigged foot bending:
But if you have other experiences please feel free to share, I'm always eager to learn.
The UV's (I know not very clean), and the texture maps: color, spec, bump.
Another rendering. This is rendered in the default Maya renderer, using depth-mapped spotlights, and my skin shader which you can read about in my skin shading tutorial.
Copyright 2003 Steven Stahlberg