Routine System Images are certainly a good practive to get into.
It may seem pointless, but there will eventually come a day when you'll be glad you did.
I make a system image every other day, and now keep about 12 in store.
I also find it better to Image the Entire Disc, the OS is on. Others may disagree, but this is my prefered method.
Windows 7 built in Back up is also decent and many will reccomend it. Personally, I find Acronis to be much better. (You must purchase it however). There are also a couple free alternatives I find to be a bit better.
Why I say this is, For example:
I have Windows 7 on a 40Gb SSD. I have all my games on a 500GB partition on a spinning drive. And other DATA elsewhere on spinning drives.
Windows backup wants to Image the OS drive & the Games Drive all at one time. For me, theres no other alternative. While this may seem to be no issue for some, or even prefered, it irritates me.
I like to Image the ENTIRE OS drive as is, and keep all other DATA as seperate auto backups. And a seperate Games Partition backup as well.
Just my thoughts & opinion about the built in, be it right or wrong.
None-the-less, it does work well & many like it.
Bottom line, whatever app you decide to use, regular systems images often, is without a doubt, the way to go.
For future reference,
I would also recommend a clean instal, and activate windows soon as you start up.
Then Image right away, before you do anything else. Just activated.
Burn that Image to a DVD and put it away for safe keeping. In the event you need to do a clean instal, simply format a reimage. Your new, fresh, & activated.