Finding the Milky Way
I suppose the easiest way is to download a copy of Cartes du Ciel, or if you're willing to spend a couple of bucks, an app for your smartphone or tablet (assuming you have one.) I use Cartes to plan observing sessions and "The Night Sky" by iCandi on my mobile devices. Cartes is completely free and can be had from http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/start
On photographing the Milky Way,
1. You really want to get to the darkest site you can find. The light from the MW is very faint and if there is any light polution, it will be overpowered. So... look for a place far from the maddening crowds.
2. Choose a clear, moonless night - the moon can wash out the MW too.
3. Try wind the ISO up to 1200 or 2400 - on a 5D2, these offer the same noise as 800 and 1600 ISO respectively and you can do some noise filtering later.
4. Use a wide angle lens because it will allow a longer exposure without visible smearing of the stars. This is dependent on the direction you're facing (as well as the pixel size and lens resolution) but a reasonable rule of thumb is 15-30 seconds with a 24 mm lens. If the focal length doubles, the exposure must half. I made the calc for a 5D2 - if the pixels get smaller than 6 microns, the exposure must get shorter too.
5. Select a lens that has no focal plane curvature when it's focused at infinity. Ideally it will be reasonably fast - say f/1.4 or so so that you can stop down to f/2 and improve the image quality and vignetting considerably. A manual focus lens (read Zeiss) is probably your very best bet.
6. Use a very stable tripod, mirror lock up and either a timer or cable release to start the exposure. I usually use sunlight white balance.
7. Turn off autofocus and use magnified live view to focus the image manually. Use a Zacuto 3x loupe if you can afford one. Finally, it's best to focus at about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way from the edge of the field because that tends to get most of the image reasonably sharp.
Ok - it may be bad form but I may as well make a plug for the Canon DSLR Digital Astrophotography group on Yahoo! We have something like 2300 active members. Full disclosure - I'm one of the moderators.