My reasoning is that if I drop my phone, the most likely thing to break (and most expensive to fix) will be the screen. Even in high-performance cases like the Otterbox Commuter, the only thing protecting the screen is the lip. I don't care about all that protection on the back of the phone; I can easily replace the battery cover if it gets damaged and if a lip is good enough to protect the screen, it should be good enough to protect the back.
This leads me to think that the most important part of drop-protection is the lip and a high-quality bumper with a good, thick, shock-absorbent lip will have the best drop-protection/bulk ratio. I think it would give much better protection than the thin cases with minimal lips like the SGP Slim Armor.
Are there any bumpers like that out there? What does everyone recommend? Right now I'm leaning toward getting the Roocase Bumper and adding a high-quality battery cover like oddspec did here:
I've seen a lot of posts about aluminum bumpers but it seems to me that they wouldn't add any screen protection. If your phone falls face-down, the screen will just slam against the hard aluminum which isn't an improvement. Can someone with one comment?
I'm interested in any comments on my thinking as well as bumper recommendations. I used an Otterbox Commuter on my last phone and it works very well but after staring at it, I can't help thinking that there's a more efficient way to get the actual level of protection I need.