Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but here is my workflow.
I typically go through 500-1500 frames per game, depending on the subject and how many cameras I am using. Those cards are dumped to my working external HD when I get home, and my rolling backup copies them onto my second backup drive. No card is erased until contents are verified and stored in at least two other places.
I process my photos in Lightroom edit metadata, and prep for upload and for delivery. If I am working on same-day deadline, I deliver electronically that evening. Upon completion, I write export that shoot as a catalog from LR which taks the RAWs, my delivered JPGs, and all metadata and changes I've made to the files and puts it on the drive. This is then compressed, written to BluRay, and stored off-site.
Currently I use two 2TB external drives. These are rotated once every 6 months, but I anticipate changing them once per quarter with the D800. I currently use 16GB cards and will move to 64GB cards for the D800.
Since I am coming from the video world, these files are small to me. I am used to going through 16GB cards every 10-15 minutes of shooting, and my video setup is closer to 12TB of working space.
There are many ways to deal with workflow. This is mine and it works for me. Might not work for the next person.