Alright, first I want to thank you for participating. I meant to do this before, but forgot. So often an Ask Slashdot happens, and the asker never interacts at all.
I can tell from your description that what you experienced was a surge from line to neutral.
Here's what's supposed to happen in any "surge protector" in this scenario:
The surge exceeds the breakover voltage of the MOV that is across line and neutral (which it must have, as it was the MOVs turning conductive that generated the heat that melted the housing). This does two things: It attempts to shunt the voltage, and also draws lots of current.
The circuit breaker (ever notice that the power switch on a surge-protected strip usually says On/Reset?) on the power strip is then supposed (via heating, electromagnetics, or both) to detect this excess ("lots") of current, and disconnect one leg of the mains. Once the breaker trips, things are supposed to be fine until reset, and then function normally (though MOVs do age as they get used like this and you should replace/repair the suppressor before absolutely trusting it again).
At least some of these things didn't happen. And sometimes, the MOVs get blown to bits by transient voltage, in which case they can't do anything further to help.
So. As much as I want to, and in fact did, say that a proper mdoern PSU should be reasonably unaffected by a line-to-neutral transient surge, apparently that wasn't the case here: Either its internal protection failed to be effective, or was effective briefly before being overwhelmed by the duration.
It might have sacrificed itself by blowing its own internal fuse: A post-mortem tear down is always a good idea with stuff like this, even if it involves taking it to the alley behind the hotel and paying neighborhood kids to pummel it with cement blocks until it opens. You'll see what's broken/fried/sacrificial, and learn to make better choices next time, and maybe come back and tell us all about it.
That all said: I tender the following three possible off-the-shelf solutions:
1. A Ditek surge suppressor. These are MOV and circuit-breaker based like most, but they advertise having lower breakover voltages than most others and are therefore more sensitive.
2. A Transtector surge suppressor. These are avalanche diode based unlike most, and are advertised to shunt surges earlier, faster and with more current capability than any MOV-based suppressor. They also use circuit breakers instead of fuses.
3. Someone here mentioned, I think, a Belkin design that includes a fuse, which is doubtless also MOV-based. Having a fuse seems low-tech, but fuses are generally -much- faster than circuit breakers and you can tailor the size of the fuse to your expected load, whereas a circuit breaker will always be sized for the maximum ampacity of the entire power strip. You'd want to install the smallest fuse you can get away with (buy a kill-a-watt or other thing that can measure current, too, to be sure). And you'll know if it's too small because it will blow inconveniently and often.
The idea with #3 is that the MOVs shunt the voltage, the fuse blows very quickly (much faster than a breaker), and there is no drama. Fuses are also much simpler and more reliable than $0.50 circuit breakers. Carrying a few extra (or a dozen!) fuses of different values shouldn't be a big deal as they are small and light and often come with appropriate packaging, and if they're AGC fuses (which they probably are) then you can find replacements literally anywhere on the globe.
IIRC, it comes with a 3A fuse. This seems totally appropriate for multinational use of a modern laptop with its 100-200W PSU, along with a small thing or two like a clock and a real cell phone charger.
(I really like #3, having thought this through for a couple of days)
Note, though, that in all cases (and for all countries!) you'll want to buy a 240V suppressor. I stand by and maintain that a global PSU will work with anything even resembling a sine wave at 240 nominal (including occasional BRIEF! surges well beyond that) for eons without episode, and that it was the duration of this particular surge that caused things to go ape-shit, so there is no harm, and zero increased risk to using a 240V suppressor in a 100 or 120V country.