I ordered some off of this site and received them last night. They came SUPER quick. They seem like good quality too. Unfortunately, after cleaning the phone and it looking spotless, I couldn't get the protector on without at least a couple of bubbles that I couldn't get out. I tried again with a new one, and the same thing...and somehow in the two seconds it had no backing tiny lint particles got trapped under there. Not a lot...just very tiny specs but I am a perfectionist and it bothered me. I was bummed out because I would like to have a protector on it, but that did not work at all for me.
I've had my iPhone naked since iDay and have dropped my phone at least 5 times and about 3 of those times it landed on the glass and so far (knock on wood) it hasn't scratched at all. This of course isn't going to be the same for everyone, it's just that I can't stand cases so that's why I don't use them.
I had planned on keeping the original plastic on mine but then I noticed that I could BARELY hear people talking to me even with the volume all the way up. I came on here, did a search, saw that someone was having the same "problem" and there was one reply and it said "Yeah....take the plastic off of your phone!" OMG I laughed so hard. Anyway I peeled it off right then, but hearing what you did, I wish I would've thought of that.
I got a rubber skin 3-pack (black, blue, white) for $25 at Radio Shack. Great deal for the price, and the color options are nice.
But regarding the screen, I bought a Cleartouch protector. Now, as mentioned, you really need a degree in engineering to get these things on perfectly without bubbles. I couldn't get it completly lined up, so the edges wouldn't sit flush. I ended up cutting the bottom and top off (the black areas) and it doesn't look "perfect" without the skin... but with the skin on, it's flawless.
I've dropped it several times on pavement, face down, no issues with the screen. And I wouldn't stress even if it did scratch because those Cleartouch guards are tough as nails and I know a quick swap will be good as new. I have them on 4 different devices right now and haven't had to replace any of them.
Besides, the skin really helps to hold on in the dry/cold winter weather, so you drop it less anyway. I feel it's the perfect cheap combo... $30 total
Mine's currently naked. I just bit the bullet and ordered an invisibleshield though, the full body option. I'm not too worried about the screen scratching, I've already tested it to be pretty durn scratch proof. But the bezel and the back... My razr has a similar finish, and I've coddled it pretty well for a year, but I only used that thing as a phone, and it didn't get off scot free. I anticipate far more use of the iPhone, and don't want to wrap it up in rubber and hide it for all eternity.
My two sisters and I have Power Support films. They have the Crystal Film Sets, and I have the Anti-Glare one. I've become a pro at applying them and they're pretty awesome. I've applied films onto other screens before and these have been the most rugged and easiest to apply.
I use the crystal skin. It's pricey, but worth every penny.
I keep one pant pocket reserved for my iPhone only (i.e. no pocket change, keys, miscellaneous in that pocket). The other day, without thinking, I jammed my big wad of keys into the iPhone pocket which had the iPhone in it at the time. I pull out the iPhone, only to notice a scratch in the upper left corner. My disappointment turned to relief a second later, when I realized that it was only a scratch in the crystal skin.
I cannot say with any certainty of course that without the skin, the keys would have scratched the iPhone surface; however, the skin is durable and thick, which you will notice if you have seen it in person, which in turn, leads me to believe, that a scratch in a naked iPhone would have been quite possible. And I'm very glad I have it on the iPhone. I cannot imagine under any circumstance--short of dropping the phone face down directly onto an upwardly pointed knife, or throwing it out of a fast moving car--that I will ever scratch the front surface while the skin is on.
The only potential downside, which is not a downside at all for me, is that one might detect a slight decrease in touch sensitivity precision, that you would probably only miss if you play a lot of NES/GBA type games on the iPhone.
I hate phone cases - they take all the tactile pleasure out of the phone - make it bulky and clumsy. I'd rather I had a scratched and worn phone than keep it in a case and it was unpleasant to use all the time.
Having said all that I've not looked around at the cases on the market - maybe there are some nice ones but everything i've ever seen for other phones has been a bit nasty compared to a naked iPhone