I laughed but shivered as well with your fsck !
You are right, I have to keep important documents 'backed up' in a cd for example. I guess I will have to cp the file(s) where I keep my correspondence. I did it with a lot of videos before to send to a relative a dvd.
Actually I did have a problem some months ago but not due to a mistake of mine. Some 60 GB of video files, ( I love cartoons ), had to be deleted from /home as after updating a well known distro they refused to play any more. I tried many tricks even installed another distro in '/' in place of the old one to no avail. At that time I did not know enough and could not post in the distro's forum to ask for help. I had used miro to get them so I downloaded them again, using Sidux this time, up to now no accidents !
So I was lucky in that case, I suffered no real harm. But I know what you mean. Hence my shiver !
Thanks a lot, you are all very helpful,