I had the Storm 9530 and used one of those "military grade" screen protectors. They do work but they also WILL degrade over time and need to be replaced. With heavy use a touch phone screen protector should be replaced about every 4-6 months. Beyond that the protector begins to look terrible and will cause the problems you experienced.
The last 4 months I had the Storm I kept it bare. The screen is very durable but it will begin to show signs of wear over time. It WILL get scratched and it can chip.
I am now on the Droid X with a Zagg shield and a Seidio case / holster combo. I only went Zagg because I do so many referrals to a certain mall kiosk that I get my shields now for free. But honestly, the cheapo sticky screen protectors are just as good and very cheap. You can usually get three for less than the price of a Zagg and use those three 4 months a piece for a solid year protection with a nice looking screen.