One of the things I recall being trickiest in previous outings with Maya, was creating detail in one area, without creating it all the way around some geometry. Plus the solution often seemed to involve the introduction of lots of tris, thus staying with principally quads was tricky.
The awesome tutorials by Ryan Kittleson, modelling in Maya to achieve good edgeloops and flow were a great resource and you can see some of his results on his site. The way he models from a plane is very cool, though the initial work I have done on the Oinkfrog have been starting with other primitives, will have to try this way at some point. Plus, I love his hand modelling tute, he makes it all look so simple...
Another reference file, provided through class, shows a more cartoony hand/arm with tris used to generate the extra detail as we move up the hand:
[Reference pic of arm/hand]
I decided to also do a few quick tests for adding extra quads into a few simple planes without adding tris. These just used extrudes and tiying up and seem to work, though they generate 5 pointed stars, only sometimes does this method create 6 pointed ones (which I understand arent good either)