I know for many people Google Wave was a bit of a miss as far as useful was concerned, well this may make things more useful to you. The Google Wave team have enabled Email notifications so just like buzz you can get an email when a wave is updated.

You can choose the frequency of the notifications between instantly to daily updates, you will only get one update for each Wave so at least you won't get drowned in notifications.

To enable Wave Email Notifications hover over the Inbox in your wave sidebar and click "Notifications"