Apple has released Apple Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, which is all well and good. But in my view, it’s a half-way solution to the real problem—
I don’t want to recover or restore a system, because I want to be up and running in under a minute with all my stuff (apps, preferences, mail, etc).
That’s why making a daily clone of your system is the smart move, and you can partition a backup drive to ALSO have another data volume, too, so your world is complete. You can boot off the clone at any time, and never miss a beat.
Internal disk bad? Clone the clone back over the bad internal drive.
Get the “quad interface” model, and I recommend no fewer than 3 backups, stored safely away from the computer. See my backup articles.