L, the prescient Mac-lover, urged me to get Apple Care when I first got my Mac. He also rigged our apartment up with all things Apple - an Apple TV, and Apple HiFi and most significant for this post, an Apple Time Capsule. The Time Capsule automatically backed up my data every day, without my even knowing it.
In the middle of a document I was drafting, my hard drive failed. I went to an Apple Service Provider, where they told me my hard drive was fried, and I needed a new one. As an Apple Care holder the hard drive was free, the service was free and they could change my cracked hard case for free too. After two days they gave me back my computer with its new hard drive and new case. I went home, powered up, pressed the button that asked whether I had a Time Capsule, and, voila, my data started transferring. The data in my hard drive - the documents, the website bookmarks, the pictures, the music and even the screen sizes - were all restored to the new hard drive after three hours or so.
I heart Apple!