This is not brand new info, but I think it is important enough to mention again. Huge improvement!
Just a repeat on the current(August 31, 2011) best practice:
Updates for SharePoint 2010 Products
The packaging of cumulative updates changed as of August 31, 2011. The following packages are provided for cumulative updates:
- SharePoint Foundation 2010
- SharePoint Foundation 2010 + SharePoint Server 2010
- SharePoint Foundation 2010 + SharePoint Server 2010 + Project Server 2010
As a result of the new packaging, it is no longer necessary to install the SharePoint Foundation cumulative update and then install the SharePoint Server cumulative update.
Previously, the recommendation was to install first foundation, then server, then project if you had project server installed. What this means is that you no longer have to do all of them, just the package that contains all of your updates. If you are running server, install the server package only. (these packages have before been called Überpackages, they are now ‘reinstated’)