BLRS has made a custom board that can be used to help prevent dead V5 Brain Smart Ports or dead motors. This board helps by using a TVS diode to prevent ESD from burning out a port. More info can be seen on our wiki. The wiki link includes everything you need to get your own boards including a link to OSH Park to buy the board.
Thanks for posting this! Our group came to the same conclusion a while back. I really hope Vex would rev the power board with these parts in the future.