A few years ago I got back into painting miniatures after being out of the hobby for quite some time. A buddy of mine heard that I was painting. He was an old time D&D player who had fallen out of the hobby. He gave me a bunch of his old, unpainged 1980s Ral Partha miniatures.
This past Christmas, my buddy was given a copy of Castle Ravenloft for Christmas. It's basically a D&D "light" party game. You have a predefined party of fighter, ranger, rogue, magic user and cleric. The board game comes with a bunch of plastic miniatures to represent the characters. He really got into the game and we played it at a few get togethers.
Since he enjoyed it so much, I took five of the Ral Partha miniatures he had given me and painted up a nice fighter, ranger, rogue, magic user and cleric. (http://www.coolminiornot.com/299286?browseid=1276506, http://www.coolminiornot.com/294554?browseid=1276506, and http://www.coolminiornot.com/294555?browseid=1276506) He was very thankful for the gift.
This past weekend, we threw a party and my buddy brought over the Castle Ravenloft game. There, tossed in the box with all of the other cards, counters, and other pieces, were the five painted miniatures. The sword of the ranger was bent and missing all paint. The raised points of all miniatures had chips of missing paint, chipped noses, etc. Pretty much the type of damage you would expect if you tossed your painted miniatures in a box with a bunch of stuff and shook it all up.
I discussed this story with another painting enthusiast that I know. He dug into a box that he had and pulled a similarly abused D&D miniature that he had given as a gift to a buddy a few years prior.
Lesson learned: Non-Painters just don't understand the work that goes into the miniatures.