I use the Thermaltake Dock solution .
I got 4 or 5 of these things around the house, some USB2, some USB3 some Esata. I personally cannot stand external cases, if there is a really good deal on an external drive, I'll buy it and take the drive out.
It's a PITA, I have to bundle up the case, the brick that comes with it and a USB Cable if I hit the road, then you have to see if there is a outlet where you are going..
I have 2 500gb USB powered drives (USB 3) and a 32gb stick so that suits me just fine for portability.
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......