I've looked into some gold backed IRAs but it seems like the fees are pretty steep. I would think the Gold bubble would burst eventually also.
Making moves in and out of the market in a 401K is STUPID. Not saying you're stupid, but as you said yourself: I'm in my 40's and have time to ride the ups and downs in the market
Then stop worrying, give yourself a break and enjoy the ride.
I would like to avoid having my retirement investments cut in half again.
It wasn't cut in half unless you panicked and sold everything during the crisis. If you left everything alone in the market, you have not only regain every penny you lost, you're up over 50% since March 1, 2009, and if you were buying during the downturn and at the bottom, you're up considerably more than that.
Stay the course, it works.