A couple months ago, my only storage drive died on me and guess what.... I had no back up drive. Long story short, I was using my back up drive as my storage drive until terabyte drives fell under $100. Oops. You can now see that I'm no longer messin' around with data protection. It does indeed happen to the best of us.
My motherboard has no onboard RAID chip (I know, I went cheap-o this time around), so I'm using SyncBack to synch all my files on SAMMY1 to SAMMY2. It's a free app and I'm pleased with it so far.
My old data is probably not lost forever. I called up a few hard drive recovery centers; they all said based on my described symptoms that the data could be salvaged. However, the lowest quote I got was $485. I couldn't bring myself to do it just now. I have all of my music on my laptop and iPod. Most of the pictures I cared about were uploaded to Picasa. Mostly what I'm missing is any work I did in college and some video footage that never made it to YouTube. It's interesting to think that had I uploaded all of my pics and videos to the web, I really wouldn't have been hit that bad by a drive failure. If privacy is no concern, there's no reason not to backup all of your files on the web!