I'm sure there are baggage handlers that do toss and maybe kick our luggage. But I thinkt hey are just the odd man. I've travelled all over the world. Never have I received any of my luggage damaged. Knock on wood.
With a hard case they should be able to withstand being tossed short distances. Though, I would think most items are lifted and put into trolley's. So that they can fiit as many pieces of luggage onto one carry device.
Any how, I'd still love to hear from those of you that have checked-in your gear. What cases you used. Your experiences. Which airline you used. Etc.