I learned about soft-close toilet seats when I was building my house four years ago and was immediately sold. The seat and lid close smoothly and come to rest with the gentlest 'click' you can imagine. No more teeth-rattling slams and no possibility of a pinched appendage. It may very well be the best $60 I ever spent (and they are even less expensive now). The only downside is it's easy to forget yourself when you use a traditional toilet seat at a friend's house. BANG! Oops--sorry.
Replacing a toilet seat is simple, usually requiring nothing more than a screwdriver and ten minutes of your time. There are many soft-close seats out there so finding one to fit your toilet should be no problem. Most of the major plumbing fixture manufacturers carry them, including Toto, American Standard and Kohler.
(Image by Toto)