How is it acting exactly? As long as you are signed into the account you made the purchases on just click buy app and it will pop up asking if you want to purchase it again for free. It will ask you the same thing on the iPhone and on iTunes on the computer. If you want to test it just 'repurchase' a free app that you had before and it should ask you the same question.
None of the apps were ever synced or backed up to the computer? As long as you are signed into the same account then it should let you repurchase for free. Did you try on both the computer and on the iPhone?
Calm down and think clearly. You are not screwed nor have to repurchase Apps. You can either redownload the Apps for free on your phone or download them into iTunes for free. You apparently bypassed the back up before you installed the update. Mark