Since then, I've been able to try the Kickback firsthand, and while I still maintain that it looks fragile, it doesn't feel as brittle as I originally thought it would, and in some areas actually feels bendy.
Now, I haven't conducted any hardcore drop tests, but I did do a wimpy 2-feet-high drop-on-carpet test (twice!) and so far so good.
Where in pics, the plastic looked fragile and rigid, I found it to be somewhat bendable in my hands. Still, plastic is plastic, and obviously, if dropped from high enough it would shatter. Compared with the leather case I have for my iPhone 3G, the Kickback does provide more protection.
I can conceive of dropping each off a building with an iPhone in them. My leather case would mostly like not have the toughness to prevent the iPhone's untimely death.
However, I suspect the Kickback would have enough durability to absorb most of the impact and possibly give its life so that the iPhone could limp away.
Who knows, though? I don't have the stones (or the money) to try this experiment, but I'll see if I can convince one of my incredibly
gullible nice co-workers to part with their phone in the name of science.