I have the Maya 6 PLE and want to pitch the purchase of Maya 8 to my employer. Our company's CAD software is SolidWorks so a big selling point would be the compatibility of the two aps. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has used the two together especially as it relates to animating the SW files in Maya or any issues/problems encountered.
I purchased both the PolyTrans and the CAD/Pack license in order to successfully import SolidWorks geometry into Maya. Be forewarned, if you download the demo version of PolyTrans, it'll let you import a SolidWorks file with missing polygons, but you'll also need to buy the CAD/Pack option in order to use the SolidWorks translator that's available in the PolyTrans demo. The CAD/Pack option maintains any hierarchical relationships in the geometry when bringing it into Maya.