While you can get a bulk package of CD-R’s really cheap at local stores or online, they are not the best for backup purposes. The physical material degrades over time, and some types degrade faster than others. An IBM expert indicates that a 2-5 year lifespan is typical for most self-recorded CD’s. (Link courtesy of BeSpacific) The best solution is to use magnetic tapes, which can last 30 to 100 years.
As a lawyer, I owe my clients a duty to safeguard the data entrusted to me, as well as to backup my own work product. As a user, I understand the necessity of saving early and often. Backup solutions have become really affordable and easy to use over the last few years, making the lack of a backup system troubling. I saw a demonstration of a Mirra Personal Server last year at the ABA Techshow, I am now considering that as my next backup system.