I am sorry to hear about your experience with our A-Stars. We manufacture the A-Stars with the same process we use for our other products, including various robots such as the 3pi and Zumo, and in general, these products seem to stand up to a reasonable amount of use and abuse.
Is there anything you can pinpoint on your A-Stars from a manufacturing or design perspective that you think could be the problem? You can see the full schematic, and most of the microcontroller I/O pins are just brought out without any additional protection circuitry, so perhaps those pins are getting damaged in your application. I am not sure what you mean by “tickle”, but if it has to do with jiggling around the connector or flexing the board, do you see any mechanical (soldering) issues?