The following round-up is from our esteemed colleagues at The Wirecutter. We recently were discussing this very topic in the Editor's household, where children abound and the SmartCover fails to do much protecting.
Some people think the iPad is so gorgeous it doesn't need a case. I disagree, and my favorite overall case is Joy Factory's SmartSuit 3.
I'm surprised we could narrow it down; this took some doing. After about 70 hours of trolling published reviews and surveys of every case available for the new iPad, we called in roughly a dozen finalists to check the fit and feel ourselves. We eliminated the obviously ugly, cheap-feeling, poor-fitting, ill-reviewed cases in previous iPad 2 iterations, and selected the most protective, ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing models available. We looked at every model from makers like Speck, Targus, XtremeMac, G-Form, Switcheasy, Marware, DODOcase, Grovemade.
(An up-front tip of the hat to iLounge's Nick Guy is in order here, because he is clearly the best iPad case reviewer around. We gained a lot, not only from his insights but from the sheer number of cases reviewed. His work represents as complete a catalog as you'll find.)