Over the last week or two, my keyboard (an inexpensive Macally Apple-style unit) has been dying a slow but inevitable death. When I found myself having to hit the space key about 5 times for each successful contact, I knew it was time to start looking around for a replacement.

Of course, the most obvious replacement to buy will be the Apple wireless Bluetooth system. I've been dying to get one to play around with BTstack. That's the open source Bluetooth stack project that allows users to pair keyboards and other devices with a jailbroken iPhone.

The problems with the wireless Apple keyboard, though, are the arrow keys (very very small) and home/end/pageup/pagedown cluster (apparently non-existent). Only the full size Apple keyboard offers those features. So I'm going to turn to the TUAW Braintrust. What do you guys out in reader-land like use as your keyboards? Have they been a success or not? What keyboards can you really recommend? And what keyboards are must avoids? (My Macally? Probably the latter.) Let me know in the comments, what your suggestions are.

And, as a follow-on, what are your views on keyboard protectors? Worth the money or not? I'm living in a child-ridden dietcoke-danger environment. If I go all-out and buy Apple this go-round, should I pay the 30% premium to get a plastic shield? Help me decide with the following poll.

Are Keyboard Protectors Worth it?
Yes, absolutely271 (7.6%)
Yes, but you give up tactile comfort326 (9.2%)
No, the trade-offs (like gumminess) aren't worth it 1905 (53.5%)
No, they don't do what they're supposed to375 (10.5%)
I think so, Brain, but the average hippo doesn't wear lipstick685 (19.2%)

This article was originally published on Tuaw.
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