Sorry to hear of your loss..
PM8 saves me a lot of time. Even considering I use the Floppy-version (I do not really trust the Windows-version, too many potential problems and interferences -Hey! It's Windows! -)
Also, I made a partition on a backup drive with Win2K fully installed with SP4, hotfixes, drivers etc. Done multiple resizes, changing clustersize and the lot, without any problems. It never failed me and it's more versatile than what I've seen of Ghost.
Now I'm experimenting with DOS, booting from a SATA drive. Thanks to PM, I have the abillity to set active and/or hidden partitions very easily.
As for data recovery: I would recommend R-Studio. Helped me get my data back from a compromised 60GXP. Make sure to use the right version (NTFS or FAT)!