Sure brings back memories. I was working with a guy who did just what you tried, only by accident. He thought he was in a sub dir, but he was in /.
He realized it 20 or 30 seconds later and control C'd to stop the recursive remove.
The system still responded to some commands and some things worked but we knew we were missing key files. We simply reinstalled and moved on.
Linux will surprise you sometimes, but you know you have a hosed system. I'd just reload like you originally planned.
No way I wound want to try to piece a system that has had that happen back together. Much easier to start from scratch.