Anyone who bought a Defender for school-run safety reasons is a bit of a fool. It was never designed to absorb impacts - the crumple zone is your face. It was designed in a time where "occupant protection" meant "not driving it like a spoon", and if you ask it to keep you comfy in a crash, it'll respond by doing it's very best to kill you. It doesn't ask that you respect the fact you're driving 2T of metal - it demands it.
And I think for those who own them for the adventure of it, that's part of the appeal. It's back-to-basics motoring where you're so much more involved with what's going on. Nothing is really hidden from you behind a wall of plastic and "sight-of-tools-will-void-warranty" stickers.
Disclaimer: My daily-driver is a 1972 leaf-sprung Series III with a diseasil engine transplant from a 1994 Discovery. I'm warm, dry, surprisingly comfortable and can hold a conversation at 70MPH. (And I do about 15k a year in her!)