What happens with your bitcoints if you've had just the bitcoin client on your PC, but for some reason reinstalled it clean or changed it?
How do you reclaim your coins/wallet?
Your wallet.dat holds the private keys needed to spend the coins. If you reinstalled Windows without making a backup, then you have a situation. If it is a significant amount of money, you need to turn off the computer immediately so that no further harm is done, and use a tool to scan the drive to see if possibly the data might still be on the hard drive (if wallet.dat hadn't been encrypted).