Well that will also depend on when the image was made. If you have a recent clean install of everything that would be the best time for the initial image while everything is in prime condition, no clutter on the drive or in the registry, and generally problem free.
After so long all you would be accomplishing is preserving the present state of the existing installation as well as personal files collected and hopefully backed up elsewhere as well. Once you start running into program errors and things get cluttered up a bit you may decide a clean is the only best option. There's certainly nothing like a clean install to start off your day with!
That came about here a week or so ago when deciding the then present installation or image restored back in October 2010 had to go! By the end of May this year problems were finally appearing where the clean install was needed.
Before wiping the C drive entirely I did make an image for viewing in order to selectively rule out a number of items in order to lighten the load of just what would go back on fresh. That was then simply dumped all together to be replaced later another image once a clean install in working order was on along with the narrowed down list of programs.