Anyway, I was given a 50% chance of losing all my data...close to 2 years worth of pictures, video clips, music, and Word documents (school and work related). NONE OF IT was backed up. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck and was barely able to function until I knew what was going to happen. I dropped it off on Thursday afternoon. Like Carrie in that "My Motherboard, My Self" episode, I was a nervous wreck. But I gotta give her props for remaining semi-composed. I was a MESS by the time I reached the repair store. I had called my husband from the car on my way over, and when I started to tell him everything I stood to lose if the data could not be recovered, I burst into full-out sobs. The front desk guy at Computer Village got to see my splotchy face, Rudolph-red nose, and swollen eyes while I pleaded with him to PLEASE SAVE MY DATA, as if any form of begging would make a difference. On Saturday morning, I got the phone call saying that - THANK GOD - they were able to recover everything.
I feel like a huge moron for not having backed up any of that stuff and I can't believe I came so close to losing it. There was really no reason for me not to back up. It was just out of laziness and ignorance (I really thought Macs were immune to crashing). I think it's just one of those things that you know you "should" do, but you just never get around to it until you or someone close to you gets burned.
So now I am in the process of saving EVERYTHING. I ordered a 500 GB external hard drive from Amazon, and everything will go there. On top of that, I've uploaded ALL my photos onto Flikr - I paid the $24 yearly fee for pro membership, which is great. You get to load unlimited photos in their original size. Video clips are going to Flikr as well (the smaller ones) or to YouTube. All my documents are going on Google Documents. MP3s will be burned on CDs. I don't want to risk ever being in the position to lose my data again...consider me the BackUp Queen from here on out.
So yeah...the moral of the story is: don't be a moron like me. Back up your work!