Is there a way to automatically get notified of module updates like Wordpress? I find that feature extremely useful in Wordpress.
Short answer is no.
Long answer is that there is planned a Robust Module Manager for the CMS which will allow you to install, manage and uninstall modules all via the CMS - http://open.silverstripe.com/ticket/3652. Because this is a major piece of work I doubt it is going to fit into the 2.4 milestone.
Will be super cool once it is implemented.