Ok, hope this helps someone out there.
I got the infamous "stuck on apple logo" despite rebooting, so I went to DFU (holding down power/home) the attaching to itunes.
But got the horrible message about having to restore AND UPGRADE to the latest software.
Didn't want to do this as 3.1.3 is no fun.
So as I was looking through some of the stuff I had download and ran blackrain by accident, so I thought, why not? Ran black rain rebooted and bingo. iphone back and no restore!!!!
Have no idea how/why it worked! I have now backed up to saurik's server just in case, but hope I never have to go through system restore.