GeoffSwift: I disagree with your point about whose "fault" such data loss is. Subverting procedure is not acceptable, and anyone who does it frankly deserves to get their stuff lost! There isn't room in a professional environment for people to do their own thing.
Rob...: let's call that a hunch :)
dotjay: I know I evangelised about SVN for ages but I'm really glad to hear how well it is working for you now. Thanks also for the philosophical quote!