"What about the backups?" is a much longer and more tiring story than I'm prepared to tell right now. Let's just say that most of the Hypnos site, the kind that resides in discrete files (html, php, txt, jpg and so on) that I can upload and download, is well and frequently backed-up. The data underlying the Hypnos Forum is a batch of complex mySQL data kept in a huge file on the web site host's server, and that part is not readily backed-up by the user (or at least I didn't know how to do it until now). Worse, in the course of trying to comply with the web host's complete lockdown of that data, I deleted a bunch of old, redundant data (like the old, old Hypnos Forum on UBB software), as well as one bit of not-old, not-redundant data that was crucial to the running of the Forum.
The story of why I can't get the web hosts to just restore the database to its prior state, is the long, tiring and depressing part. Let's just say I have come to truly hate the web hosting company that hosts hypnos.com, and that they will not be hosting the site much longer, but in the mean time, the Hypnos Forum as we know it will just have to start fresh. Maybe if I hadn't been banging my head up against the brick wall that is ValueWeb tech support for the past 2 days, I would have been able to solve this problem more elegantly.