I can only speak for my own experience; I do not deny or discount (nor elevate) others' experiences with the case.
With that said, I'm so far very pleased with my LifeProof case (gen 2). My first copy had some dust caught in the glue around the seals of the proximity sensor; the replacement from Best Buy also has this to a minor degree, but I don't think it's worth taking back a second time.
The only other minor issue that I have is that there is a bulge on the top (the top of the case isn't a straight line when the phone is viewed face-on). For $80 (plus $30 for the holster), this thing should be perfect. Both the first and second copies from Best Buy exhibit this issue; after looking at it closely, it seems to come from the seal around the noise-canceling mic and thus may just be an unfortunate reality of the existing design.
It took forever and a half, a pair of rubber gloves, and judicious amounts of compressed air to get the phone in the case without dust getting in between the screen and the front plate, but that applies to any screen protector.
Once installed, the so-called pillow effect is there, though eventually you get used to it (mostly). I prefer my phone naked, but as I do a lot of hiking in canyons, some protection is warranted. While the screen protector of the case itself is crystal clear and the design makes it look like there's no case on the front plate, the slight pillowing will never let you forget that the phone isn't naked. On account of the noise your finger makes when tapping on the pillowing plastic, I turned off the keyboard click sounds as they were redundant.
So far there have been no sound issues with my copy. I love how it turns the entire back of the phone into a speaker...it sounds better than without the case. Sound quality for calls and recording are unaffected.
The holster (a separate $30 purchase) is very sturdy. Note that it will not allow you to open the charging port door while the phone is in the holster. I find it a bit much for everyday usage; the case itself is non-bulky enough to be comfortably carried in a pants pocket. The holster shines when out hiking, especially its ability to lock the phone in (no accidental releasing of the catch) and the ability to put the phone facing inwards. The belt clip spring is quite firm and takes some effort to get on and off your belt, so I don't worry about it getting accidentally wrangled off (had that happen before with other holsters).
As an anecdote about Customer Service, they were very helpful and very quick to respond when I called them about the wrong mount being sent when I first ordered the holster (they put the bike mount in instead). CS emailed me the RMA number and return shipping label, and then shipped me the correct item the same day.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with the case. As a very OCDish person and someone who prefers the phone naked, the slight deformity at the top of the case and the pillowing effect are annoying (especially for the premium price tag), but when I get engrossed in actually using the phone for functional purposes in everyday business these things are less obvious. For the protection with the minimal bulk and almost-nude look of the front, though, it's a pretty damn good buy. Making a better speaker for speakerphone and playing music is nice bonus.