Vanessa, a couple of things; firstly although it's not leather, it does look very good. I wouldn't call it "rugged", but it has a certain natural and lived in look about it that's quite nice.
Secondly, it's great for KEEPING the iLiad in. I've only ever removed mine once in 6 months, to reset it, and because it's quite slim and folds back with zero resistance, it's really nice for using the iLiad while still in the case. I can read one handed with no problem, and the closing flap even retracts into the body of the case when you need it to, so it's not flapping about in your way. Given that, the velcro becomes a non-issue.
Re edge protection, it's true that nothing covers three of the edges, but the front and back covers do overlap the iLiad and therefore provide some protection. I'd say it's the corners that are most vulnerable, especially if you drop it.