that did not really answer my question. backup apps excluded will the android market allow me to redownlaod my apps or will i have to start all over with fresh (loosing all paid apps) ?
Oh yes, sorry. I've been up for quite some time and I do apologize.
I have paid for apps and as far as I understand as long as you use the same Gmail account, you should be fine. It stores your purchase history based on Gmail account and not the phone itself, thus, allowing you to use a different Android phone and not have to pay for the same apps.
More proof: I just flashed my phone to Cognition 2.3b6 and I downloaded previously paid for apps for free after setting up the same Gmail account I was using before.
Again, sorry for misunderstanding the first time.