Your message stuck a chord in me as well. I have only relatively recently started my family history search, only starting last May, and I understand what you mean. It can be so frustrating when you know there must be information somewhere and can't find it, or you know that the information is impossible to recover.
Part of the problem with finding information is that natural disasters do destroy important information from before the electronic age. My mother once told me that both the Washington Parish and Tangipahoa Parish courthouses were destroyed at least once (she think Tangipahoa's was destroyed twice) by either fire or tornado. As such, we are left to the best we can with bits and pieces of information passed down from parent to child, or information we find either in church records, family bibles, and gravesites.
I wish everyone good luck.