I bought this with some of the money I received for Christmas. At first, I didn't like it. The way my iPad sat in it, the top of the iPad rested on the zipper teeth at the upper edge, and I felt that closing the zipper was likely to scratch the top edge of the iPad. It was like my iPad just didn't fit far enough down into the leather "corners" that held it in. However, I really liked the design of the product -- it really looks like an antique leather-bound book, very appealing to a literature graduate student like me. So I debated for a couple of days. Then I had the idea of blowing up the product photos on Twelve South's website and seeing if maybe the "corners" in mine were sewn in a bit too high, because they certainly seemed like they should've been sewn lower. And lo and behold, the corners in mine appeared to be sewn in about 1/4" inch higher than the ones in the product photo (I determined this by looking at how the bottom corner seam matched up with the bottom zipper seam). So I decided to exchange it with Amazon.
Amazon's exchange policy is fabulous by the way. All I had to do was print out a label, box the thing back up in the original box and send it off. They shipped the replacement overnight for free, so I had the replacement a day after the return one was picked up by the letter carrier. I'm very impressed with their exchange service.
Now that I have the new one, the corners are definitely sewn in lower, and my iPad fits properly in the case. So, if you feel the iPad has a poor fit, check it! It may be just a defective case.
Now on to other aspects of the case. It seems pretty protective -- the front and back covers are reinforced with something that makes them rigid. The case is lined by a suede/microfiber type fabric, which is nice, and won't scratch the iPad. There is a long leather cord that comes out of the side the iPad sits in. This is to wrap around the leather button on the other side of the case, so you can use it as a stand also. While this is nice, there isn't really anyplace to put the string while you aren't using it. Your options are to either thread it back under the iPad and wrap the excess around the button (like it came shipped), or to leave it out hanging free, which is kind of annoying. I ended up compromising by wrapping it around the edge of my iPad, which keeps it mostly contained, even if it isn't the most attractive solution.
I definitely would've wished for a better containment system for the iPad, also. The leather "corners" are all that holds it at the bottom, while across the top there is an elastic band, which I'm sure will eventually stretch out and become less secure. I would've felt a lot better had it been made like the Apple case, with a rim of fabric all the way around the iPad that you slide it into, and then a flap to fold under to secure. I also would do away with the zipper closure, and just have a strap to hold the case closed, which I feel would be more attractive (and also eliminate a lot of the around-the-edges bulk). Depending on how they designed it, this could also solve the necessity for a free-hanging string inside also.
It does give the iPad a bit more bulk than the Apple case, which is very slim and lightweight. However, the slight added size and weight is not enough to deter me from using it. It's not excessive.
And the thing is gorgeous. It appears very carefully distressed, to give it that well-worn look. I got the red version, which has not only red on the spine, but red corners on the covers, which are decorated with gold flourishes. The Twelve South logo is embossed unassumingly on the back -- not distracting at all. And the zipper pulls look like bookmarks, which is great. It also is made from either leather, or a decent imitation of it, so I don't anticipate there being major cleaning issues like there were with the Apple case. So, this case gets full marks for style. I feel it's a bit pricy, though, for the way they chose to hold the iPad in, and the inelegant loose string, so that's why I give it four stars overall.