We use Scene Xref constantly here, as Max is our level editor. Works OK. Haven't tested it extensively in 2010, but it works great in 2008.
They added the new Containers functionality, which is very similar to Xrefs, except someone else can have the Container source file open, make a change, save it, and you'll see it update live in your scene. Not so useful though if you're using Perforce or some other source control, where you save files to a server and people don't constantly update their local copies.
Containers are also pretty new, only added in 2009 (but only exposed by default in 2010). You can't use a Container as a reference or anything, can't change materials on your local copy without affecting the master, etc.
Nowhere near as good as Maya's referencing.