after seeing the max8 peltmapping vids, and doing a bit research on the topic, I found that wings3d and blender already have nice automatic unwrappers, using the same technique called LSCM.http://blender3d.org/cms/UV_Unwrapping.363.0.html
both being opensource, I am currently working on porting the functionality to 3dsmax 5. The modifier will not allow to do the edge selection in it, since that is a bit too fancy work for now, but using macroscripts you "mark" the seams in regular editablepoly, however the modifier allows to highlight draw them.
So far I started the environment of maxscript/maxplugin combo, and next comes the actual lscm port. Not sure how it goes, but since many of you are probably on 6/7 I could need someone with a max6sdk to compile the plugin for it, or you could send me the max6sdk include/lib folder zipped. Still the plugin will be opensourced anyway
going to post some progress shots, although the port is more or less a "either it works fully or not at all" thing
So I hope to have something testable up in a week.
EDIT: Check posts below for updates and working test version!