In the meanwhile, I came across this Apple case while cleaning out a closet. It came, I think, with the third generation iPod.
Back then Apple's customers were furious because the lovely shiny jewel was seriously scratchable. After a few days of use it looked like cat fodder.
Apple's grudging response was to include a soft rubber pouch with each iPod. It looked cheap, but the darned thing was seriously well made. I used it for years.
Now it's the slip cover case for my iPhone 4. It gives some protection in my pocket, and it protects the phone from my antenna-killing hands. It will last until my second Apple customer-appeasing case arrives.