I don't do system level backup. Instead, I have burned downloaded content to DVDs, content which would waste a lot of bandwidth to re-download. Same for files / content I have created myself, except these I have copied to a USB flash drive in addition to a DVD. I verify the integrity of DVD drives every couple months. As for the rest of the system (including programs), I simply do not care. When my HDD dies, I will simply install Xubuntu on a new disk, copy the files from DVDs and carry on. Business as usual. I do not have to worry about programs and license activation nonsense that can sometimes occur with Windows since all programs i use are open source and can be installed anytime with Synaptic Package Manager. Yes, I realize this is not an optimal backup practice for many users, let alone SOHO / business scenarios. But everyone has their own threshold and needs for these type of things.