Kies works for me too, most of the time. Its a little temperamental and I sometimes have to try connecting a few times before getting it, but it usually works when it does....
It backups up contacts, memo, sms, etc just fines, but for big files like video and pics, it takes way too long. Sometimes I wonder if it hangs. So I just use it to backup contacts once a while. If I need to backup pics, I just copy and transfer instead.