Finally getting around to posting this. We had a great turnout for our Solaris 10 Patching with Live Upgrade hands-on-lab at OpenWorld a few weeks back.
The lab was a self-guided tour through the basics of using Live Upgrade combined with ZFS root to seriously speed up the system maintenance process. You can find the lab document here. Since this after the actual live lab, the document describes how to create a basic Solaris instance to use to practice patching. Nothing special - just a basic Solaris 10 VM with ZFS for the root.
The document also refers to applying patches that we supplied in the lab. This was just a trimmed down set of the Recommended Patchset. It was trimmed down just so the lab would fit within our alloted time, not for any functional reason. So, grab the latest Recommended Patchset from MOS and just use that.
So, take a look at the lab guide. Move toward using ZFS for the root and Live Upgrade for patching. This is a huge benefit and a way that you can hours out of your planned maintenance time.