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Recent Reformat -- Was It Necessary?

I'm posting this to the list because a problematic state of my machine occured 
after an update of KDE 3.1b2.

The file libstdc++1.2.something.so disappeared which caused attempts to use 
aptitude or apt-get to fail.  As I'm inexperienced with solely using dpkg for 
system maintenance, I perform a complete reinstall of Debian.

I'm still in the process of restoring all of my applications.  I know that a 
complete reinstall is reminiscent of M$ Window$ and I wonder if I could have 
fixed my problems.  

(Yes, I did neglect to back up my /etc/fstab, /etc/lilo.conf, 
/etc/apt/sources.list and execute a "dpkg -l > old-application-list" but 
that's another matter... Live and learn.)

Can anyone chime in with a way I might have avoided the catastrophic solution 
I chose?
Comments are most appreciated,


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