Are you kidding? Being the anal sort that I am and having heard that the iPod scratches easily, I ordered the Contour Showcase at the same time I ordered the iPod online. Absolute necessity to ease the mind.
Full gear protection is good and all, but it shouldn't get in the way of looks or ease of use.
i'm somewhere in the middle. i have a cloth pouch for my hd5. i don't like carrying around full cases because i put the player in my pockets and full cases will make it too big. a cloth pouch offers some kind of protection but does not add too much bulk at the same time.
I rarely use a case with my iPod. (It's like making love with a raincoat on.) But my FM transmitter, the Sonnett PodFreq is built into a solid plastic housing that acts as a case. So on the road, it's protected anyway.
i don't have any protective equipment for my portable players because i'm a cautious person, i take very good care with my belongings. BUT somehow my ex51 cables are ripped, i'm guessing they were made really poorly.
I guess I would have bought a vaja iVolution even if the iPod was totally scratch resistant, it's such a beautyful thing, adding joy to each and every time I fumble around with it.
At first I wanted to protect the iPod from scratches, and I still want that, even after I noticed there is no way in the world to do it other than not to unpack it, but I am thinking about bad, defacing scratches now, or drop-damage.
Apart from the JB3's very practical (but easily ripped) case, the Contour Showcase is the only case I've thought really worth using, mainly as it actually does the job of protection, adding not too much bulk, not looking as though it was sewn together by a 12 year old and also because it's very easy to get in/out repeatedly. I find I experience no inconvenience when docking the iPod as it's easily snapped out of the case and snapped back in, as opposed to the likes of the iSkins.
If you have a 20 gig or larger Ipod then a case is absolutelty necessary. Those things are so beautiful and sleek that they will slip out of your hands like a bar of soap in the shower, and you can't pick it up off the ground because......................just get the case.
I like the RadTech PodSleevz, which are made from a thin faux-suede polymer that feels nice and grips well. They also disguise the color of the iPod, making it look less...iPod-like (especially the black one, which makes it entirely possible for people to mistake my iPod for some random small brick of black equipment).
I'd buy them for the grip factor alone or for the disguise factor alone. Getting both at once makes me very happy.