Hey guys, for all of you who have lost their GTA Online characters, (myself included), check out this brand new post from the in-game Rockstar Newswire:

PREVENT CHARACTER LOSS
If you have an existing character but see an empty character slot in the selection screen, back out to Story Mode and re-enter GTA Online through the pause menu. Do not create a new character in the empty slot.

If 'The Rockstar Cloud Servers Are Unavailable", do not create a temporary character. Do not press 'Retry'. Instead, back out to Story Mode and try again.

We are working on a permanent fix for these issues.