The two compartments connect well. They didn't come apart after I gave it a good shaking and the phone fits firmly into the case. The parts joined cleanly and straight -- edges were flush together and there were no crooked seams.
Unfortunately, the etched designs on the back aren't all that sharp. XA Wireless promises designs that are carved with "breathtaking precision," but the text I saw looked jaggedy.
Furthermore, as sturdy as it feels, there is one fatal weak point. The thin piece of bamboo that lies at the bottom of the home button and runs up to the dock connector port is easily breakable. After I received the first XA Wireless Vortex case, I pulled on this piece while trying to take the case off the phone, and it broke off. When I received another unit, I gently tugged on the same location, and it too snapped off.
This, ultimately, is a huge a deal breaker. Considering the sort of wear and tear a phone and its accompanying case go through on a daily basis, the fact that this one piece keeps breaking off is irritating. Though the case can still essentially work without this one component, for the price of $45, it's not worth it.