Back in the day, Mike Bombich's Carbon Copy Cloner was one of those must-have Mac apps. It was the first solution for making bootable backups to an external hard drive. Unfortunately, CCC had not been updated in quite some time (2003) and its former place has been taken on many Macs by the excellent SuperDuper! (which I use myself, but which runs $27.95). Mike has finally come out with an update for CCC, and has released a beta of version 3 of CCC. According to Mike, CCC3 was "completely rebuilt from the ground up to bring a new suite of features." Among these new features, are a revamped interface, network backups, "advanced scheduling capabilities" and more. Perhaps best of all, however, is that CCC3 is now a Universal application.
Carbon Copy Cloner 3.0b4 is a free download, but Mike asks for donations. It looks like CCC3 could be a great, less expensive alternative to SuperDuper! once more.