When I first started working with Joomla nearly 6 years ago the update path was different than it is today. Up until 2.5 it seemed to work just fine and while it always felt like the odd ball to me it worked. So the general rule was until a version reached .5 it was considered a short term stable release (STS), which meant you could still use the .x version prior to .5 but you did so at your own risk. If you absolutely needed what was coming in the new release you installed it and dealt with the constant struggle of updating it and fixing everything that broke along the way. Otherwise we was told to wait until the long term stable release (LTS) was out.