"My last two phones and the one I have now had and have micro-USB."
That's not very many. I've probably had just less than 100 different devices, and about 5-10% have been damaged. However, many cables have gotten damaged.
Worse though is that some cables and some ports don't want to work together.
Some devices, like my Motorola Bluetooth headphones, I feel like I have to jam it in so hard that it's going to break each time, though it hasn't yet.
I think this is also one of those things where Micro-USB is better than what I could come up with. It works, and you can live to deal with needing to wake up your girlfriend by turning on the lights, and figuring out how to plug it in at night. Likewise, the fragility isn't bad enough to be a consistent problem, even if it *feels* much worse than it actually is.
Try using the Lightning connector, and even better the Lightning connector on actual Apple cables with the hard-coil. It's pretty sweet to be able to plug in a device one-handed and completely in the dark on a single shot.
Honestly, the convenience of this makes up for the messed up inconvenience of having to also carry around 30-pin, Micro-USB, and Mini-USB.
I would definitely like to see Apple license Lightning rather than adopt Micro-USB.
"USB itself will only plug in one way, polarized wall plugs only plug in one way, and I don't remember anyone bitching when they went from non-polarized to polarized wall plugs."
The difference there though is that in both cases, for the most part, it easily plugs in one way and definitely doesn't plug in the other way. Furthermore, for the most part those connections are static. Meaning most people just need to think "larger blade goes in on the left". However, have you ever been in an older partially renovated house? It is annoyting trying to reach behind the furniture to plug in a lamp in a socket that you don't know if it's polarized or not, and if so which direction it was placed in.
Likewise with USB-A, the icon usually faces up, or vertically towards you or to the right. Again you're dealing with a static thing, so it's always facing the same way and very easy to detect when you're trying to go the wrong way.
"I would guess that most problems with any plugs stem from users pulling them out holding the wire rather than the plug."
That, and coiling up cables incorrectly, but Micro-USB connectors definitely aren't as robust as Lightning even when used properly.