"I'd assumed that the artifical horizon had somehow failed as well, but thinking about it more you're right, it should have stayed operational the entire time. At least enough to reliably indicate a 35+degree nose up attitude.
Human factors. What fun."
Indeed. AF447 is a case study in human factors. Crew Resource Management was a big failure there. Misreading the instruments was another. I've seen my own brain get saturated and shed inputs and tasks; it's amazing how we humans can fail. (Maybe not part of AF447, but look up "somatogravic illusion" for why someone might screw up pitch.)
Keep an eye out for the report on Atlas Air 5Y3591 in Houston.