This isn't just a testament to using filters. I don't because I don't want to have to remove them to use a polarizer, I don't want anything between my lens and the image and I don't mind repairing the odd lens if that is needed. It never has been necessary but it could happen. I also don't see the value of spending high dollars on a premier lens only to add layers of glass to the front of it - might as well shoot all your pics through a window.
Further to the topic, your story says more about the tank like build quality of higher end Nikon bodies than it does about the filter. The body and lens hit the ground at velocity also.