Unfortunately, this is the only way to reach 3.2SP1. We have made many changes to the database structure and the CMS as a whole since version 3.0. Each version is performing an update of your database. We know this is rather uncomfortable and are trying to make the upgrade procedure simpler in our future releases.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you experience any problem during the upgrades. We will be glad to assist you.
the Telerik team