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From a security point of view what's people's views on having version 1.8 running and it being fully patched vs the running the latest build.

My view is that the latest build may have bug fixes and additional features but from a purely security point of view it should be fine to still run 1.8 as long as it patched and maintained.

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the magic in Magento as in any other modern CMS like Wordpress etc, you keep its core, custom design and custom functionality separate. so you able to upgrade anytime without breaking your customization. and patches are in simple readable format, so no problem to follow any changes. well, if you did everything right in terms of customization.

but from a purely security point of view it should be fine to still run 1.8 as long as it patched and maintained.

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