Mac, several years ago Consumer Reports tested different kinds and brands of luggage even using a huge tumbler to simulate typical abuse a piece of luggage would receive during travel.
Guess which one fared the worst? The hard sided luggage. Apparently the hard side protects your clothing but if dropped or manhandled, it failed but the softsided luggage did not. Guess the soft side plus your clothing acted as a shock absorber.
When I stand at the carousel I don't see much hard sided luggage any more I think the advances in nylon and other fabrics have pushed soft sided sales because of their durability and shock resistance.
That's my observation anyway.