SQL Server 2008 is in its final stages before it is Released to Manufacturing (RTM) in Q3 of this year. At TechEd IT Professional Edition in Orlando, FL this week, Bob Muglia talked about SQL Server 2008 in his keynote and announced that Release Candidate 0 (RC0) is now available to the public today. It was actually made available to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers last Friday.
I know that a lot of companies are just starting to evaluate SQL Server 2005, and if you work for/with one of those companies, I really recommend you consider going to SQL Server 2008 instead. There are a lot of really great features in SQL Server 2008 that would take me a long time to articulate. My colleague, Mike Wilmot, a SQL Server Technology Specialist, covered "What's new in SQL Server 2008" in the .NET Developers Update webcast last month.