It’s entered beta phase already 😮
Few days ago it was -almost-beta (lol) and I just realized today the version has changed to beta1.
Using svn is indeed the best way to keep web applications updated. Updating them is now two step process at most – svn up or svn sw, and then do database upgrade if needed. No more need to deactivate plugins – still needed if it’s major jump though but doable even without doing that. Just the effect is not really good. Also no need to ‘clean up’ the blog directory to upload new (hundreds) files.
Some applications have incremental upgrade, yes. It’s not the case for WordPress though.
(And really, using svn is easy)