With the latest upgrade to OS X (10.7 Lion), Apple took a step into unfamiliar territory. Lion was download-only, and while Apple announced that it would sell a flash memory-based hard copy at some point, the thought of getting an operating system without a physical backup troubled some people.
Now, Apple’s offering a do-it-yourself alternative in the form of the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant. The 1MB program will assist you in copying Lion’s recovery partition – which you can use to boot into an installer, which allows you to download the rest of the OS. So as long as you have an Internet connection, your system should be recoverable. If you don’t like this approach, well, you’ll have to wait until Apple gets around to releasing Lion on a stick.