is there any tool in blender that is similar to the tack tool in Modo?
here is a video of the tool in action:
it use snap to mesh surface + duplicate
Shrinkwrap modifer + Duplifaces
Green cone is instanced while snapped to Suzanne's geometry:
Now in Edit mode you can start copying Plane (SHIFT-D), move copies and in realtime see result of their placement. If direction of Dupli gone wrong then flip normal of a plane (Edit Mode->W->Flip Normals)