Just got back from the Apple Store in Bayshore Mall. The Genius I spoke with recommended that I take it to a jeweler or auto glass shop to see if they can feather the scratch out. He said that the glass is hardened and that it is separate from the touch sensitive components and the screen, so polishing shouldn't hurt anything. I also spoke with him about long sync times and short battery life, both of which he said were caused by third party apps. He recommended that I hold off on using them for a day or so to see how my battery reacts to that, but if I still get lousy use times he said to bring it back in and I think that they'll replace it then. That'd be neat because then I'd have a new phone with no scratches!
While I was there I tried my phone in just about every single case on the wall. I was hoping to find something that would have always-on protection and at the same time give me a comfortable way to attach it to my belt. Sadly, there just doesn't seem to be anything available yet that will do this.
I was excited to see that they had the Contour Hardcase. It is black and rubberized and I thought I was going to like it a lot, but when I got it on the phone it seemed like it would pop off if I dropped it. It's held on by a series of tiny clips around the edges and similar cases I've had for my Treos have fallen off and not protected the phone when dropped. It also does not have any sort of belt attachment and is too big to fit well into either the Marware CEO Premier or the Incase Folio.
I tried all of the skins and hardcases on and attempted to fit them into the Marware CEO Premier, I discovered that it is slightly bigger than the Incase Folio making it more likely to hold a phone that's in another case. The only one that really fit easily was the Belkin silicone skin, but its got gaudy red stripes on it and the fit was kind of loose.
I also tried on a Belkin form fit leather case. Very disappointing. As I expected by looking at the pictures of it and similar cases online, it leaves the entire top of the phone exposed. If I'd had this case on my phone when I dropped it the gouges in the corners would not have been prevented. Perhaps the screen wouldn't have been scratched though. But for such an expensive case I'd expect better protection for all sides, and CORNERS, of the phone. For some reason most of the leather cases out there leave the corners completely exposed. Hello! The corners are what get damaged the most in a fall! There's a Macally leather case that loads from the bottom, I'd like to see that one in person to see what kind of corner protection it's got.
I finally settled on the Griffin Wave case. It comes in a two pack for $35, which was actually the best deal on the whole wall. The only caveat was that the two packs only come with white and blue, neither would be my color of choice but I was not going to leave the store with my phone unprotected. The Wave uses a unique attachment system that has both the front and back halves of the case wrapping around the phone to grasp it and hold everything tight. I can't imagine this case ever popping off if dropped, the fit is very snug and slightly difficult to put on and take off which gives me a feeling of security with it protecting my phone. It did fit into and out of the Marware CEO Premier but it was very snug and hard to get it out one-handed. I decided to skip the holster for now, but pocket carry isn't going to work for me for long. I also bought a pack of anti-glare screen protectors (from Power Support I believe). As I expected they make the screen look funny, there's a definite and perceptible loss of definition and clarity, but at least its protected now. It hides the smaller "skittered" scratches in the screen pretty well, but the long scratch is still visible and puts a tiny rainbow trail on the images under it. None of the scratches can be felt anymore though, which is a small improvement.
If I can find a way to hold the Wave case on my belt in a way that is comfortable and easy to use I'll probably stick with this case. If not, I'll be keeping my eyes open for a better solution that provides the full time protection and easy access that I'm looking for.