I love Canon's photo stitch software that comes free with the camera. Sometimes it works better than others and I can't figure how to predict when a project will turn out good/bad.
This project used three photos. I didn't use a tripod and I did have to lighten and saturate the colors before posting to the blog. I use Picasa by the way for all my blog posting and photo organizing. I've never had to restore lost photos, but I have used all Picasa's other features and really like it. Reordering (by way of drag/drop) is the one thing that's a royal pain in Picasa.
I'm not afiliated in any way with Picasa or Canon.