Shading, Lighting, and Technical Director William Schilthuis posts a GREAT and througorgh article on Linear Color Workflow in Maya and how it applies to shader networks in both Mental Ray and V-ray, and also points out what “proper” Linear Workflow is in V-ray. Check out the Maya Linear Workflow with Shader Networks in Mental Ray & V-ray article here, it is really worth the read!
My goal is not to convince you of the benefits of linear workflow, but rather to clarify setting up shading networks with various input types and exactly how it applies to Mental Ray and V-Ray. In addition, V-Ray seems like a hot topic nowadays so I specifically wanted to point out what “proper” linear workflow is (as the documentation references). Also in that regard I wish to take some of the blame off of MentalRay for complicated linear workflow.