When adjusted for inflation, the current stock market hasn't recovered nearly as much as it seems if look at only nominal prices. At best (reinvesting all dividends from a "share" of the 2001 Dow), you've gained 3.6%. Otherwise, you're down by some 23%.
It's no wonder stock market cheerleaders don't want us to look at 2009's Dow 10K in terms of our purchasing power: The results are sobering. For example, 1999's Dow 10K bought 8,300 gallons of gasoline, but 2009's version is worth only 4,000.