^ I usually wrap my phones in a TPU case as well, but I sometimes let them ride naked like when wearing a suit (so that the phone has a slimmer profile).
I think I'd probably be happy with the SGSIII if I didn't get the HTC EVO 4G LTE, but I prefer the shape and size of the EVO. And the kick stand would be very useful for me. Looks like it would be easy to make a socket mounting for it in my car, for when it's doing GPS duty. In any case, I'd give the latest Android ROM and Sense a good test run and see how it pans out before going custom.
I just got a spare HTC Hero the other day ($21 shipped) and it was very interesting to do a side-by-side comparison with my rooted and custom ROM'ed Hero. Sense even on 2.1 is very nice, and most apparent when scrolling icons (i.e. app drawer). It's just smoother. But on the downside it lacks many customized options, which I've found makes it much more compelling to go custom. I may do a video comparison and upload it to YouTube.