Gail Shaw has part 2 of her transactions series up:
Again, exactly the desired behaviour. The changes made in the outer procedure were committed, the changes in the inner procedure, the procedure where the error was thrown, were rolled back.
Used correctly, savepoints can be a powerful mechanism for managing transactions in SQL Server. Unfortunately they’re not well known and as such their use can also make code much harder for later developers to debug.
I’ve used conditional transactions fairly regularly (procedures can have calling parent procedures, or sometimes can be called on their own), but never savepoints.