Updatable firmware is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it can help keep your hardware from obsolescing as new accessories ship; fix bugs; and expand feature sets on older models. But it's also beginning to feel like camera manufacturers have jumped on the (annoying) ship now/patch later software bandwagon.
More and more, companies seem to announce firmware updates within weeks of a camera's widespread availability: the Canon EOS 7D, Pentax K-7, Olympus E-P1 are all among the cameras that had firmware updates available within the first few months after shipping. The latest to add to that list is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1, which is barely out the door.
The camera update theoretically delivers improved autofocus performance during movie capture, better high-ISO quality, and enhanced auto white balance, among a few other things. Along with the camera, however, are a host of firmware upgrades for all of Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds-compatible lenses as well (you can find all of Panasonic's updates here.) Depending upon the lens, the update enables and/or improves autofocus performance while shooting movies.