I'm glad you found a solution. I still prefer Robocopy. More options than you can shake a stick at.
You *can* compress files with it (using the target FS supports it, e.g. NTFS). However, it is individually, by changing attributes at copy time, which it supports. This does hurt the compression ratio since they aren't first TAR'd (to use a nix term) together before compression. Still, it works very well and is so powerful and easy. That's why I personally like and use it. Also, it is an official Microsoft product, and free.
Other solutions can certainly be easier. Even Windows Backup in Vista and above is pretty darn good these days, but I still don't trust it as much as I do a plain old mirror of my files.