I haven't yet had a chance to have a good honest to goodness play with Variations in Sharepoint 2010. I'm waiting for the beta release in November, and my new beefier hardware is just waiting for the challenge.
The documentation for Sharepoint 2010, and specifically Variations is coming out (bit by bit) and it sounds good to me.
First of all, you'll be glad to hear that the Variations process has been written to be more robust than prior versions. Creation of Variations and Variation Hierarchies are now fully encapsulated in Timer Jobs, dispensing with the troublesome dependency on the IIS Worker Process during provisioning.
[Revision 271009 - I've been told that my take on the workflow improvements may be a misinterpretation of the documentation. I'll finalise these points when I know more.]
[Revision 110210 - I'm told that the MSDN documentation has been reworded as a result of my feedback. Nice.]
[Revision 110210 - The code posted elsewhere in this blog to import and export content from Variations has been successfully tested on the Sharepoint 2010 beta. It worked without changes, which is good news. That's not to say the new API doesn't offer improved ways of achieving this of course, so revisions to that code may follow.]
Good news all, and I hope to report more once I have more to tell.