the links now work but storing backups to the site is a bad idea
Agreed - but that's why the plugin gives you the option to download the backup files to your hard drive. What else would you prefer to do with them? If you want to store them somewhere like Dropbox or AmazonS3, there are plenty of plugins that will do that. This plugin is very clear about what it does and does not do, so I'm not sure why you'd penalize it with a 1-star rating.
you can't get to them if the site is down
If the site is "broken" or "down" and you can't login to WordPress, you can always get into your site's directory and files by using an FTP client/app (Cyberduck, Coda, Transmit, FileZilla, etc) - OR by going through your hosting provider's web control panel / file manager.
also I see no way to do a restore... what good does the backup do, if you can't restore the site.
If you go where I suggested in my first post, you'll see an entire section titled "How do I restore my site from a backup?" It also has a link to an external how-to source (http://hmn.md/backupwordpress-how-to-restore-from-backup-files/). And there is also a complete explanation of what you're looking for in the "FAQ" tab of this very site (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/backupwordpress/faq/).
What else can the community and/or developer do to help? I'm sure it can be frustrating trying to deal with a "broken site" - but it doesn't sound like this plugin had anything to do with that.