Restoring Mac HD to previous date without losing user data

I installed about 3 applications in the past 2 weeks and have noticed my computer is definitely slower than it was... rendering web pages and simple things just aren't as snappy anymore.
On the Support site there lots of articles explaining how to completely restore my system disk and other tell me how to retrieve an old version of files/folders... but how do I restore my system disk with out losing my mail, ical, addres book, itunes lib, skype data, stickies and all other data I have changed and want to keep since the install?
Please help. If restoring the entire HD and then restoring individual files/folders I want back from todays date in Time Machine then so be it.
If there is an easier way then please let me know.

you can do it but it has to be done in two steps. first, make a TM backup. to speed things up just choose 'backup now" from the TM menu. next, do a full system restore by booting from the leopard install dvd. once the system is restored log out of your current account and log into another admin account. create one using system preferences->accounts. then go to the folder /users at the top level of the drive and restore the home directory of your main user from the most recent TM backup available. then log into your main account and all your recent data will be there.

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