So I'm in the market for a suitcase. And let's start by making it clear that I do need a suitcase: point to point trip on a plane to a cold weather destination with lots of baby stuff, souvenirs and more to carry, so backpacks, carry-on only etc ain't gonna cut it. 80-100L or so ought to do the trick.
In general, I've preferred squishy canvas-y softcases along the lines of this:
Because they're nicer to lug around than something with sharp edges, can always expand in a pinch -- magic zippers for extra space rock -- and are pretty close to unbreakable. (Incidentally, that bag -- like much of my luggage -- is from Antler, a brand I've found to generally strike a reasonable compromise between price and quality.)
For things that shouldn't get squished, like my scuba gear, I used an ancient Samsonite plastic hardcase, which suffered many a hard knock over the years and finally gave up the ghost when the lock broke. But now I understand that plastic is lame and all the cool kids are using polycarbonate hardcases, ideally the original Rimowa Salsa/Topas:
At $1000+ a pop here in Oz those are way out my target price range, but everybody's now making copies and eg. Antler's "Liquis" goes for $300 or so, which is a bit more that I'd like to pay but not entirely out of the question -- if it really is worth it. (Again, Oz prices, please don't taunt me with how much cheaper it's in the US.)
So here, finally, is the question. Should my new bag be soft (canvas/polyester), hard (polycarbonate) or something else, and why? Recommendations of specific models/brands also welcome.