Here's a roundup of all the cases I have for the Note 2
Ringke Slim - very nice slim case with a rubberized feel. Probably one of the thinnest cases but the downside is that the top and bottom edges are exposed
Cruzerlite Androidified TPU case - have three of them. Fairly thin feel, but what I don't like is that the tight fit actually pushes up the edge of my screen protector
Otterbox Commuter - not much to say about this one. Otterbox's reputation precedes them. The downside is that there is no belt holster for it. If there was, this would be my favorite case.
Speck Candyshell - slips onto the phone much like a TPU case. Has a fairly soft rubbery interior with a thin, hard plastic shell. I believe it is an AT&T "exclusive" as it came packaged in an AT&T branded box. Slightly thicker than a Seidio Surface.
Seidio Surface - this is, by default, the one case that I use on a daily basis and that is purely because it comes with a belt holster.
FWIW, I hardly ever use the S-Pen, but I have tested it and have not noticed any ill effects from the magnet. I believe any issues may just be an issue of perception (if you go looking for the problem you will find it). It's not like the magnet causes the S-Pen to malfunction and causes mystery text to appear like a Ouija board. I've covered the screen from top to bottom with squiggly lines and do not notice any difference between the area where the magnet is located, and the rest of the screen.
Looking at the Surface case, I don't see how you would be able to remove the magnet without damaging the case itself. You would have to pry out the kickstand since the magnet is located behind the kickstand housing. Besides, without the magnet in place, the kickstand would swing loosely.
The only thing I don't know that I'll like is how bulky and thick it will be. The holster looks pretty sturdy and clicks on in a solid way from what I've seen in videos. In what way are people saying the hostler isn't that great as far as what you've heard?
Not everyone has the problem, but enough have and demonstrate how there is no ability to draw in the effected areas and it's not perception. I will use it for content creation as an artist so it is important to me and one of the key distinctive features of the Note 2 besides the large screen. Also don't like the idea of it potentially causing long term damage. If you don't use the sPen much (which leads me to wonder why you even got the Note 2) you may not have seen the feedback on the case from users who complain about it. Seidio even acknowledges that some people have a real problem with it others don't, but they're not going to do anything about it.
Hmm ok. Oh well. Thanks for the reply on this.
I love my diztronic, the phone is completely protected, buttons are covered and it looks and feels great without adding bulk. I have a clear one with the mod done to use the flip case. I also have a black one for when I don't want to use the flip front case.
I looked at the defender in the Verizon store, what a tank! It's already a big phone to begin with, but the defender makes it seem like you're carrying two notes.
As for why I got the Note 2, it is because
1. Hardware wise it is the most advanced phone currently available
2. The large screen is great
While I don't use the S-Pen on a daily basis, nor do I use it to create copies of Van Goghs or Monets, I do use it from time to time to take notes in meetings, and especially when I have to write emails or texts in Chinese (a lot easier to write a Chinese character versus trying to type out a Chinese character on a keyboard).