I have known for years that you could burn yourself with rm -rf. I finally did it. I was building a new machine for my wife and was in the process of moving her stuff from my machine. There was an extra /home directory under /home/lene that I was trying to get rid of. I'm sure you can guess what happened. Unfortunately, my system was set up with EXT3, so there is no way to recover deleted inodes.
So in a nutshell, I toasted her and my home directories along with all emails, etc.
I did see that there is a way to set up an alias for rm so you can't do stupid things like I did. I just wish I had tar'ed the directories to dvd. D'OH!