The lesson: "Notice that I had a very respectable backup strategy, everything was backed up daily, offsite. In fact I believe this is the third time that a hard drive failure has led to a series of mishaps that wasted days. Conclusion: backups aren't good enough." There are more lessons: "Much as I hate to encourage [monopolies], the only thing worse than dealing with [one] directly is dealing with another idiot bureaucratic company who themselves have no choice but to deal with the [monopoly]." And finally:
Weak systems may appear perfectly healthy until neighboring systems break down. People with allergies and back problems may go for months without suffering from either one, but suddenly an attack of hayfever makes them sneeze hard enough to throw out their back. You see this in systems administration all the time. Use these opportunities to fix all the problems at once.
Wise advice. I probably won't follow it, though, out of sheer laziness.