I have posted this question in several forums and am a little surprised that nobody has replied.
Perhaps I am asking the wrong question. Instead of moving around my object, placing it in the orientation that I prefer, should I reposition the coordinates planes instead?
Consider this couch:
They only have a 3DS version, so I imported it to 3ds Max.
Notice the weird positioning:
When I manipulate the object in one viewport, the other 2-3 are affected.