In all actuallity---worst case scenario--- the bike is only falling about three feet. The sliding is what messes everything up. I have the bracket on the side, and I went down on the right. It didn't do anything except what it was made to do, protect the bike. I only had a scrape on the fairing, and a little touch-up paint fixed that. You need a new frame slider after you go down, but that's a given.
So it doesn't matter if you go down hard or not--well if you went off a cliff, then it would matter, but then you would also have a lot more to worry about--. If your bike just fell off of the kickstand, it would have a bigger 'impact' than if you were leaned over in a turn and the bike only fell a foot or so. That is where the whole 'slider' part comes into play.
Trust me, you would be much worse off without it, than with it.