I apologize if I've misunderstood or perhaps not followed your guidelines with respect to providing an answer so if I get booted out I understand, however I believe information I obtained from your forum brought my iMac back from the brink and wanted to express my appreciation about what I've learned here.
In short, my 2011 27" iMac running 10.7 lost its recovery partition and whether its necessary for one to be in place to perform a clean install of Lion over the Internet I will leave for the gurus and experts to decide... all I know is that while I was smart enough to back-up my data ( and on two different drives ) for such a possibility as a total and complete crash of my newest Mac, repeated restores from my Time Machine back up drives brought it back... but only momentarily.
I've been a Mac user since the 1980s. My first Apple was a brand new Black & White Mac Classic. Always able to install an OS using discs which were bundled with my Macs ( that rarely misbehaved ) I was a little more than freaked out to learn that's all changed with newer Macs which is to say all I had to go on were my Time Machine drives, trusting that the OS would be put to rights via a complete restore, however not until I recreated a Lion recovery partition on the drive was I able to perform a clean OS install, again, over the Internet.
My iMac returned to life just yesterday morning after numerous failed attempts to bring it back and only after a clean install of 10.7 Lion. I don't know what the underlying cause of the crash was, I probably never will, but I do know I am grateful for forums like this ( where I've spent seemingly countless hours over the past week or so ) because without the information I've gleaned here my 3 year old iMac would most likely have become a lawn ornament. Chances are I would also be replacing some window glass after throwing my iMac through it out onto the lawn and while I may have felt better for a fleeting moment or two... my Mac wouldn't be fixed so tossing it wasn't an option.
After reviving my iMac with a fresh copy of OS 10.7 I then proceeded to restore its pre-crash data with Migration Assistant rather than Time Machine for I reckoned that data corruption on a system level would only be duplicated back onto the drive with a complete restore which would have been a borderline stupid move given that the machine was running smoothly. Now to figure out the best means of duplicating my restored drive so that if history should repeat itself I'll have a complete local copy and not have to spend hours ( if not days ) finding answers all over again. And again... many thanks