I had the unfortunate poor luck of a sudden corrupted hard drive, causing a Kernal Panic immediately as the log-in screen appeared. Disk Utility etc. failed me. I purchased a new HDD, installed the latest OS X again, and have recovered most of my files from the old HDD. The twist is that I was using Filevault on my original drive, meaning I cannot recover anything in my user home folder. It does not even appear unless you boot up from that same HDD (which I still cannot do, of course -- Kernal Panic reappears). Any ideas? Perhaps my next step is Disk Warrior on the old drive.