Rich, for most people the case is durable though some have had scratches or flaking. There are many threads dedicated to covers, cases and durability. Some skins don't have the possibility of "bubbles" like the carbon fiber or brushed metal options as opposed to the clear types that might have bubbles.
Honestly you can't protect your Surface from everything and even with a snap on plastic case of some sort or any other protection you might get dust trapped between the case and the Surface. Additionally more dust and dirt can collect in the gap between such case and the device. Furthermore snapping the corners of a tight fitting case over the corners of the Surface could cause wear or damage to the corners of the Surface. Ok, hopefully you see where I am going with this
I don't think there is any snap on style case at the moment and there probably won't be any that work with the kickstand due to design limitations. There are plenty of good options for stick on protection. Many of the stick on protectors do not leave residue and are completely removable. Check the threads for more details and feedback the on various options.