One of the biggest features I see out of 2008 is the Report Designer application. This removes the need to purchase Visual Studio or a 3rd party add-in for building reports, and makes it much easier to create adhoc queries.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services provides a complete server-based platform that is designed to support a wide variety of reporting needs, including managed enterprise reporting, ad-hoc reporting, embedded reporting, and Web-based reporting, to enable organizations to deliver relevant information where needed across the entire enterprise. Reporting Services 2008 provides the tools and features necessary to author a variety of richly formatted reports from a wide range of data sources, and provides a comprehensive set of familiar tools used to manage and secure an enterprise reporting solution. Reports are processed and delivered quickly and effectively, enabling users to either receive reports automatically through subscriptions, to access reports from a central report repository on an ad-hoc basis, or to consume reports in the context of their business processes through reports directly embedded into their business or Web applications.