Matt has done some work to attempt to emulate 3DS Max functionality in Blender. This functionality is parametric objects.
What are parametric objects? Well one example Matt gave is creating a star object. The advantage of a parametric object is that you can edit the number of points of the star, resolution, dimension, etc all interactively. And in Matt's proposal making the object a modifier would allow this interactivity to remain throughout a modeling process. Currently, this functionality is just a test. And a patch is not available. He hopes it could be inspiration for things to come. Kind of like the other neat goodies that he has shown us in the past.
It's basically using a modifier at the bottom of the stack to create geometry, which you could then just apply to edit the mesh directly, though that's not always necessary. This is a bit similar to how Max and Cinema 4D work. When you add an object, you can still manipulate dimensions, resolution, other parameters as a whole. Then if you want to edit it manually, you convert it to an editable mesh with a click.
Find his blog post on it here.