As previously mentioned I have lived with Beta and RC before arriving at Release. Downside has been the re-builds. The upside and this is Goodie #2 is the ability to use VHD’s mounted as ‘real’ hard drives has been a saviour!
I have setup a number of Virtual drives and when I boot in I re-mount them. I have a Data drive (docs and outlook achieve), Software Installs drive (my downloads drive really), Code drive and finally and iTunes drive.
Once a week I copy off each VHD to my NAS at home.
So when re-building my machine I simply copied them off. Re-built, installed the basics, re-copied them back and re-mounted.
As the say where I’m from: job’s a goodun!