Retopo like NEX (Maya)?

Maya has a set of Modeling tools which used to be a 3rd party plug-in but is now integrated in 2014 called NEX. There are a bunch of tools which make generating meshes very easy. Two things about it which are very handy are:
Quad tool - click to place vertex points (can constrain to existing mesh or snap to grid)
then you simply hold SHIFT to form a face between vertices

I feel very comfortable with Blender’s modeling workflow. I usually merge verts on a plane and then extrude the lone vertex point to make outlines, edges, and then fill with faces or bridge. But is there a way to snap points to an existing mesh surface (not verts) to make retopologizing easier like NEX?

Please don’t mistake my question as an insulting comparision between Maya and Blender. I feel like Blender must have something that works like this and I just don’t know it.

The main tools to help retopo (in no particular order):

  • Face snapping. 3D header. Ctrl+shift+tab to select snapping element, shift+tab to toggle on/off, ctrl to toggle while moving, header for other options
  • Bsurfaces addon. Draw lines with grease pencil, generate surface between.
  • Shrinkwrap modifier
  • Contours addon from cgcookie.

F2 addon helps to fill faces fast. New grid fill (ctrl+F -> grid fill) is handy too. Improved bridge (W -> bridge edge loops) can also do multiple cuts.

That’s a great list, thank you!