Is that what you're left with if you lose images from your hard drive without backing up? It must be... Luckily one of my New Year's resolutions is to back up all my data - images, documents, the lot, before I lose precious data. I recently lost a whole stack of brushes I had made in Photoshop, the "art pain" wasn't too bad, as I know at a push I can create them again or at least retrieve them from the saved .psd images I now have multiple copies of.
I've had several external drives sitting here, simply waiting to be used, and today I bought even more blank cd's and dvd's so I can burn multiple copies. You just never know what hardware will fail, so it's best to keep multiple copies and to store them in different locations - ideally off-site would be great. Next on my to-do list is to investigate online storage of my images, but at the moment I will be content with the multiple back-ups I'm creating.
Before you get too involved in 2009, have a little think - when was the last time you backed-up your images and documents? This task is really not one you want to put off till tomorrow, as you may wake up tomorrow to find your only copy is now on a dead drive. And then you'll experience the suffering, the agony, the regret of what it's like to have 'art pain".