[Q] Full backup, like Clonezilla? Confused!

Hi, I'm a bit confused about the various backup tools in Android. (I've got a rooted Galaxy S3 with a old custom rom, which I'm planning to wipe everything and switch to CyanogenMod.)
Is there a way to take an complete "image" (like Clonezilla, etc) of my phone, so that if I mess things up, I can restore my phone to the exact state of the backup?

Here is what I've researched on the net, which I'm confused about:
- If I go to CWM recovery and do a backup there (is it a "nandroid" backup?) then I think it gets the "Operating System" part of the phone, but doesnt include the internal SD Card storage? (which is a problem because most apps store their data there, and won't recover properly if it's been wiped?)

- Titanium backup can backup my apps, SMS, contacts etc, but it won't do the "Operating System", so it won't backup my ROM?

- There's also the ADB backup command, is it more complete that the other two methods? I tried it on my Ubuntu 14 machine and I'm not sure it's working properly, though. It ran for a while and just stopped with no progress indicators or any other feedback on its success. Do I need to be in "Fastboot mode" or "recovery mode" to do it? Or just the regular phone mode?

So anyway, is there any sort of all-in-one backup I can do, so that if I mess up my factory reset + upgrade to CyanogenMod, I can restore my phone perfectly to its original condition?
Unlike a PC, where I can test restore to a Virtual Machine or spare computer, I don't have any spare phones to experiment with, so I'm a bit afraid of messing up. Is there any way of verifying that my backup is valid?

Thanks!

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