I had/have the same problem (with both babies so far). A lactation consultant actually gave me a Medela nipple shield. There were some studies in the 80's that said that babies drink less milk with these, but she showed me three recent studies that disproved it (including one done by her group). She was really knowledgeable (had 4 homebirths herself and delayed vaccinations - so similar parenting ideas as I have). I used the shield for two or three days. I still had some pain, but I think it gave the skin a little break. I don't use it now. I also used lanolin and soothies (only I bought the Gerber brand soothies at Target for much less than the others cost). I also take hot baths twice a day for my stitches and put epsom salts in the water. Then I try to lean over and let the nipples sit in the hot water and salt twice a day. I've even heard that you can put used tea bags on them to soothe pain. I still have pain when DD latches on, but the skin has healed and is getting tougher by the day - so things are getting easier as I go. Hope that helps!
Mandi - Doula/Childbirth Educator, Loving my DH, DS, DD, DD, missing my three (last m/c 4/2010)