As I discussed in an earlier article backup/restore between farms for publishing sites was unsupported due to the fact that MOSS often stores absolute URLs to the Page Layout in the properties of a Publishing Page. Workarounds had to be used to adjust the incorrect URL after a restore to ensure that no exceptions occurred.
The good news is: due to the large number of customers requesting this feature Microsoft has decided to modify SharePoint in a way that it is now able to properly handle this situation!
Starting with the April Cumulative Update SharePoint now officially supports backup/restore operations for publishing sites between different farms!
Please ensure to have SP2 installed before installing the April CU as this is the only way to guarantee that all recent changes to SharePoint are available on your farm.