The DR1000 cover is fine and gives plenty protection. Most if not all present e-ink displays have a glass substrate and are "delicate" to a degree and so care is always required.
The present DR1000 firmware doesn't allow non-DRM epubs (though fbreader has been built for it and it may allow that, I've never tried.)
The New firmware supposed to be released next month is based on the DR800 and will read epub by default but not Mobi. (You'd have to use fbreader again I suspect). However the new firmware will not allow you to transfer any scribbles you make on your pdfs to another device, unlike the current firmware. This latter point probably limits the proposed new firmware use in my case. Hopefully a solution to that can be resolved.