Originally Posted by Randaddy
It sounds like you and your friend have gone through 5 of these. They don't sound that tough.
So two things here... First and foremost, if it's easy to use and takes great pictures you'll be more inclined to bring it along. With my Olympus tough, it went everywhere, I was very conditioned to take it and use it. My second WP camera (a pentax of some sort) was a bitch to use and took so-so pics, it slowly started being forgotten (cause it wasn't getting used) and ultimately was lost somewhere... in the process it changed my entire picture taking habits. Now with my newer Fuji, it's fairly easy and takes great pictures, but I still leave it in my fishing bag, a pocket or whatever too much... for that I blame the pentax for sucking and changing my habits.
So with that laid out; is it not reasonable that people that use the shit out of their product not break more? I think most things that brake are operator error. We broke our Olympus when my wife put it in her pocket with the battery door open (semi emergency) and it was forgotten for a while; when removed from pocket - no battery door. Can't blame that on not being tough, just OE. Stepping on it when charging as noted above, probably broke the battery door too, not a design flaw just part of being water proof and OE.
Secondly and related to the first, with WP cameras there is a bit of extra stuff to go wrong and if something fails and the camera is submerged it ends in dead camera... not like a camera that never goes in the water - if the battery door brakes, tape it back on and keep rolling...can't do that when water is involved.
I do understand your issue, somebody broke three of the something but they still love it. Why? Too me if somebody broke three of something and would buy a fourth that's the best advertisement you could get - it's worth the hassle even if it fails and in this case each failure was admittedly OE...
Anyways 2 people going through 5 camera's doesn't necessarily mean that they're not tough, it could just a possibly mean that they were so trusted that they were pushed beyond their (or any other camera's) failure threshold.