How do you protect your pins ?
I don't connect them to anything silly.
Yes like, thinking, planing, think again, (may correct it), wiring it, control it, powering it. But in hurry: wire it, power it (crossing fingers and hope the best), use it or get a new one...
True is the Due cost more than the other boards, the SAM3X is way more sensitive and it's nearly impossible for some beginner to change the µC in an safe way. For the "NO RISK, NO FUN" section would be an UNO with DIP and an USBAsp the best option, on this combination there would not so much tears generate if something went horrible wrong. Change Burn and Ready.