My iPhone4 didn't crash it just lost most of it's sound settings and then finds most of my charging and playback sources as uncompatible. I am currently doing a full restore and hoping that will get me back to normal.
You might consider backing up to the Cloud so you have an external back up source. I also back up my contacts to my email account so that I will never lose those again. With all the protections in place the biggest issue that needs to be addressed is the frustration created by releasing updates that cause this manny glitches. If this many people have posted about their issues just imagine how many are suffering in silence.