So I dropped my Z3 Compact last week and the rear glass panel cracked. Everything is fully functional but I still wanted to get it repaired. I bought the 2 year Protection Plus plan for $60 when I got the phone, but I figured I'd check on just using the regular warranty first. They wanted me to send in my phone (at my expense), and once they assessed the damage they let me know how much it'd cost to repair. The agent guessed somewhere around $150. Then I'd get the phone back eventually. So it would cost me $150+, plus shipping, plus a couple weeks without my phone to have a $15 part replaced under warranty. That's obviously unacceptable.
If I use the Protection Plus plan, they send me a brand new phone and prepaid return shipping label to send the damaged one back in. Then if I want I can buy a new protection plan on the new phone for $60. It's such a no-brainer to go that route, and I'm very glad I shelled out the extra $60 when I bought the phone.
The Sony reps were all very nice and helpful in explaining everything and taking care of it. Overall I'm still happy to be a Sony customer and I'll probably continue to purchase Sony products.
Also, if you're wondering why I don't just get a panel and replace it myself, I've checked around and it seems you're likely lose the waterproofing when you try to do it yourself. That's why I just want a new one.