Apparently quite a few people have problems with the Nook Color and Nook Tablet connectors breaking (ugh!). After I got a new one, I bought a toothbrush cover to protect mine while it's not in use. I still need to come up with something to protect while IN use, but this is a start.
I'm posting links to photos, but don't know if they'll work:
[Oops! Kinda HUGE...but you get the idea.]