With more and more 'content' being stored on hard drives I expect to hear more hard luck stories of "we lost every photo of the kids between 0-9 years old" or "I lost every receipt for my house renovation and the tax department wants me to pay" etc.
I know you are all backing up to disc or dvd every month correct :)
(lol and storing secondary set of backup disc/dvd at an offsite location - thanks mum).
Having said that it's painful to write to disc even with 4.7gb dvd (or even 20gb BlueRay drives which I haven't bothered to buy yet).
So for the home user backing up to an external drive is more and more important, only problem is drives fail (every 3 years on average) so you have to have copies of copies of hard drives....which is why it just doesn't happen.
The way you get around this is something called RAID which basically means all data is stored across multiple drives (normally 4) and when one fails you just put a new one in and then off you go like normal and it self copies across the new drive.
However the problem is that even though RAID is available on most new motherboards setting them up requires a phd and when things go wrong they can go really wrong.
Eg. Check out how many different versions of RAID there are at this link
Anyway if this sounds like you then maybe Drobo is for you.
I especially love the feature that allows you to have different size drives (this is the first raid box I've seen that can do this), so basically you can throw whatever spare drives you have laying around and then as you need more space replace what you have with the largest 'economical' drive of the day.
It's a little bit expensive but...considering how much you don't need to know and yet have a tier 1 top quality reliable raid service might be something you might want to invest in. Lets face it if all your data went blink tomorrow how much is that worth to you?