So we made the unhappy decision to have our Mac repaired under warranty, which is free, but includes no data recovery. Professional data recovery (at least in these parts) runs around $125/hour, and given that our music is backed up and our best pictures have been printed and/or backed up, we decided to forgo the pricey "shoulda-backed-up-your-stuff-while-ya-could, -lady" fees. Among the major losses are lots of funny Photo Booth shots of various family members; alas, I will never be able to blackmail my brother-in-law. And, sadly, the second tier Europe pictures. I took about 460 shots in Europe, and had culled, edited, and printed the best 130. I had just recently thought that it was time to print another hundred or so, not because they were great photos but because they were great souveniers. They'll be history when we pick up our Mac in a couple days.
What really ticks me off is that they didn't have to be, if not for a lame-o Apple policy. Yes, the repair and parts are free, which is as it should be. But we're not allowed to keep the original hard drive. If we could, there would always be the possibility that we could barter the services of a Mac-savvy friend to do the recovery work. But no. When you get a replacement part from Apple, you have to surrender the original part. So right now Steve Jobs is getting a big "thwthtwhthwh" from me. (To which he responds: "shoulda backed up your stuff while ya could, lady.")