A few more lessons learned while using the STSADM export and import commands:
1. Alerts will not follow the site’s lists and documents during the export process.
2. Email enabled lists can be an issue when importing if the destination server is not properly configured for incoming email.
3. Any task or issues list imported that emails a user when they are assigned a task will no longer send emails. You need to disable and then re-enable the functionality in the lists settings.
We are also using the Microsoft IT Site Delete capture feature found at http://codeplex.com/governance. It appears that this will not protect imported sites unless you disable and then re-enable this feature on the web. I have not had time to dig into this specific topic but I do have firsthand knowledge of an imported site not being caught by the IT Site Delete capture feature when the site was deleted.
I am also guessing that references to custom event handlers will also not be imported, but I have not had a chance to verify this.
Overall the stsadm export and import commands can be very useful to move sites around as long as you remain aware of the limitations.