I bought this book when it first came out, because it's among the good ones.
The part I can't stand is the title. SQL Server 2005 is indeed a good release - the first industrial strength release of a product that was pretty poor until the SP3 release for 2000, and even then only if running on Windows 2003.
Now MS has an excellent product in the same league with Sybase, and for sure, with lots of free extras (whether you wanted the Ginzu Knives or not). But this is not a "paradigm change". Every time anyone releases a major version of software, there is a huge addition of features. That is marketing, not a "paradigm change".
In his intro, the anonymous corporate author from SE says "...to enhance the availability,scalability, security, and reliability of the server. This paradigm shift..."
Availability, scalability, security, and reliability are "paradigm shifts"? Excuse me, SQL Server 2000 increased those 4 factors over SQL Server 7. Sybase 11 increased them over Sybase 10 (not to mention Sybase has always been, since the 4.2 days that MS used to understand RDBs, all of those things - but they had the advantage of running on a stable OS, something the SQL Server team did not have access to before Windows Server 2003).
The claim of "paradigm shift" is silly. It's a great product, it comes with a lot of goodies - a LOT of goodies (of course you'll still need to buy or write software for monitoring and diagnosing the server) and on Windows 2003 Enterprise 64-bit running on Opterons with direct connected iSCSI arrays, it can SCREAM!
That's not a "paradigm shift". That's why we BUY the new releases of things. MS finally delivered a professional quality database system. Yep, I'll buy that. I'll even port off Sybase to avoid supporting two systems. But a paradigm shift? Plu-leaze.
Roger L Reid