A while back I mentioned that with the Kindle you are buying a relationship with the Amazon company. Some expressed skepticism toward my point of view, but this is the sort of thing I was thinking of.
I always think that it's foolish to be unprepared, to think that nothing can ever go wrong. With the Kindle, you are relying upon Amazon to not lose your books.
rumbarrel, I'm happy for you that your wife has been content with the Kindle experience until now, and I hope that the problem is quickly resolved and that your wife gets all of her purchases reinstated promptly. But it's still early in the eBook reader game, so one way or the other I guess that you have learned a lesson before it's too late.