I was really impressed with this photography tutorial: How to Photograph the Milky Way in Light Pollution. It clearly outlines the technique of using ETTR to capture as much image data as possible, and gives this handy little gem:
To start, I use a standard Milky Way exposure of of 30 seconds at F2.8 and ISO 6400. These are the same exposure settings that I use to start all of my Milky Way photographs regardless of the conditions.
Well that's certainly good to know.
Now all I need is a location that's nice and dark and I'm ready to give astrophotography a try. Lots more info can be found here.