Wow, really? Last pack of cards I opened was last year, I still practice to this day with them, strange. Typical bicycle decks too. Granted I generally never ever have sticky hands when I practice (from foods and such). I do live in the Netherlands, but if that's a reason for them being good quality. Man, why are there so little magi's here? Hmm?
Either way, as for protecting cards, I dont know, I try to keep my hands clean and even tell friends to wash up before I do a close up trick involving there aid (Do as I do).
DISCLAIMER: If I say something that's not correct, PLEASE give critique! How else am I to learn?