Installing any application is not a hard part, but preparing your system for that installation takes some time and considerations. While installing Foundation today, I had the same issue myself. I did not know which pre-requisites should be installed first. I searched for it, and found different combinations, but one told me to run the pre-requisite installer first, it will let you know what are missing for you. Here are those which were required on my machine.
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Native Client
- Hotfix for Microsoft Windows (KB976462)
- Windows Identity Foundation (KB974405)
- Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 (x64)
- Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
- Microsoft Filter Pack 2.0
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services ADOMD.NET
- Microsoft Server Speech Platform Runtime (x64)
- Microsoft Server Speech Recognition Language – TELE(en-US)
- SQL 2008 R2 Reporting Services SharePoint 2010 Add-in
For some you will have to look for the specific download for your operating system (x86 / x64).
I downloaded and installed them, and was able to proceed next. By the way, did I mentioned that I am using Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard with Service Pack 1.
UPDATE: I found a PowerShell script for downloading all these pre-requisites, grab it from here, it might be handy too. http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/office/bcf3332d-f726-4ac7-b01a-eeda4b7ece8e