Service packs are very critical and important. In the industry I have seen many people waiting for the first service pack to arrive before moving to opting the product. I often see it as a good practice because there are some unknown bugs or missed enhancements in original product which are later covered in the SP2. I believe it is not limited to SQL Server but pretty much true across most of the softwares. Here is a single suggestion, you may delay adopting the product but must not delay in adopting service packs. As soon as they are released, grab them, test them on your development thoroughly and move to production server after validating.
Microsoft has recently released SQL Server 2008 R2 service packs. Please note these are for SQL Server 2008 R2 and not for SQL Server 2008. They will not work on SQL Server 2008 but will work only on SQL Server 2008 R2. If you have have a fresh install of SQL Server 2008 R2, you just have to download and install SP2 and there is no need to install SP1 as this service pack is cumulative SP and contains all the previous upgrades of SP1.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)