And it wasn't even as painful as I'd feared. I was able to check my e-mail remotely a couple of times and keep my Inbox from overflowing while the good folks at the computer place replaced my faulty HD. And -- it's an ill wind etc. -- they didn't have a replacement on hand for the type of drive I had originally, so they gave me a better, faster one instead! Plus, all my backups worked. I think that's by far the easiest time I've had yet with a hardware crisis.
P.S. My hands are much better now. They itch and pull a bit, but the swelling has gone down and the burning's stopped. So, all in all, a good day.