In my limited insight, i don't know why Mentor team got the "big idea" in MAX layer function which cause many many annoyed to designer when he opens a MAX layer design in default template and vice-versa.
You got the procedure right of bringing MAX layer parts into standard format.
I haven't seen any protocol.
Well MAX layers are needed once in a while, I've done two design in MAX layer in last 6 months.
There are no issues opening MAX layer design with standard template.