Currently Being ModeratedAug 2, 2011 6:59 AM (in response to steveitr)
The backup is not made for viewing. it is a backup file for iphone.
You should have been syncing your contacts to your computer all along, so they should be in whatever program you selected when you set up contact syncing.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 2, 2011 7:00 AM (in response to steveitr)
Contacts are not stored in iTunes, they are stored in the backup, which is a MySQL database. You need an application that will allow you to view the backup, such as http://www.iphonebackupextractor.com/
However, if you were using the phone the way it was designed to be used you would have been syncing it regularly with a desktop app such as Vista Address Book or Outlook. If you have done this all of your contacts will be there.