I ran into Bug 401496 while working on adding support for groups/mailing lists to my extension. Basically, it causes Thunderbird to crash sometimes if you delete an Address Book and do something (most noticeable with mailing lists) without restarting Thunderbird that tries to access that Address Book or mailing list in some way. I believe that my extension itself shouldn’t crash Thunderbird if you delete the address book and resync, but if you click on a any of the new address book’s mail lists before restarting TB 2 you will crash it.
Also, even in Thunderbird 3, if you delete the synced address book and resync, it will create all the mailing lists and address book cards like normal, but the cards are not added to the mailing list (due to what I think is the underlying problem with bug 401496).
To summarize my findings, if you delete the synced address book for any reason, restart Thunderbird before resycing.