The title's it, really.
With .TAB file reader, you can add multiple layers to the reader and use the 'merge feature type' check box with an '*' to read all the layers listed in the source files, which can then be separated out again on featuretype name.
With the SQL Server Spatial reader, you can specify many layers in the database selection, but it seems that the 'merge feature type' option doesn't work.
Is this a bug, or expected behavior, or am I missing something?
EDIT: I have found that I can do this sometimes... so the above may be incorrect. I'll need to test some more.