"Hey cool, a new SD card. Want me to format it?"*
*Error message paraphrased.
I'm not about to spend money on this, but I'm definitely hoping to save some time. Lifehacker had done a bit on the "best recovery tools" a while back that I checked out. I tried "Recuva" first, but was disappointed. Turns out, even though Recuva won their little showdown, it's not actually good for any sort of failure situation where the card won't mount or the partition is screwed. It's really just an undelete tool. But next in line was Test Disk. It's cousin is called PhotoRec and that's what I used to recover everything we needed off the SD card, and then some. It also pulled off some old MP3 tracks and some videos that used to live on that card.
So, it worked really well, and I highly recommend it!