Automating SharePoint Deployments
Today I compiled a SharePoint 2010 version of the SPDocGen SharePoint Documentation Generator and am very happy to get farm configuration documentation done automatically.
Later on, I also automated my SharePoint installation using the PowerShell based scripted installer AutoSPInstaller which also had the added benefit of supporting offline prerequisite install mode.
You can have one configuration file per environment (so one for development, one for test/build, one for stage/UAT and one for production). Combine this with the automated farm documentation and you have a great package.
In the end, I prepared an image with the scripted install and offline prerequisites already slipstreamed and the configuration change to allow the install to run on Windows 7. What more can you ask for?