I’m back up and running thanks to two things:
1. The guys at The Mac Shack in Boulder who understood my situation and for a small rush charge installed a new 160gb hard drive in my Powerbook in one day for a parts and labor total of less than $400 (and two trips to Boulder). I’m glad they’re planning to open a store in Fort Collins – although I don’t want to have to see them for this kind of thing again anytime soon.
2. Apple’s “Time Machine” back-up system (part of the latest operating system). All I had to do was boot off the system disk and go to the Time Machine application. There was a selection to restore the entire system from back-up – which warns you that it will wipe your disk and set it up as of the date of the back-up you choose, but that’s exactly what I wanted. One click of a button and 2 hours later (after the restoration process was complete) it was like nothing bad had ever happened. Only I now have about 60gb of hard-drive space I didn’t have before due to the upgrade in size of the new drive.