It never came back up.
On landing in OMA, I used Google maps on my Treo to locate the Apple dealer here in town, then phoned them for a Genius Bar appointment. They were very nice and fit me in almost immediately. I postponed dinner with garyomaha and elusivem and headed way the heck out to west Omaha (170th and Dodge, basically).
Diagnosis quickly confirmed my hard drive was hosed. They recovered some data to my memory stick, and replaced the drive under AppleCare at no financial cost to me. I have good backups at home, and my data loss is quite minimal, albeit impossible to restore here while I am travelling. I'm currently running with the factory disk image of OS X 10.4, without my Microsoft Office suite, without any of my bookmarks for my morning blurgroll, and without any of my files.
I lost the Potlatch crit (about 2-3 hours of effort so far). I lost some recent audio.xml work (easily recreated). I lost 4-5 hours of editing time on Madness of Flowers. And while I'm supposed to turn the book in at the end of this week, I'm not sure how I'm going to edit it on this machine. Probably I'll recover the file from Gmail, convert it to .rtf on my Dell, then edit that in TextEdit. But cripes. Cripes cripes cripes cripes.
A huge fricking hassle. I had to drive all over town in subfreezing weather with 30 mph winds and blowing snow. I was 2+ hours late to dinner, never did run the errands I needed, and my entire writing week is disrupted. Plus limited to no link salads since I'm missing my usual bookmarks.
Still, Time Machine has all the core data backed up at home. All my important drafts are in my Gmail archive. I just despise the hassle and the lost productivity, and the fact that this will knock my deadlines back. As I said, a disaster, but not of epic proportions.