Re: Ludwig's new Signet 105 drum line!
I just set mine up today and I couldn't be happier with them! Now for the issue at hand: the lugs. Structurally these things are sound. I have not tried to take them apart but from what I can see it does look like the plastic part is there to keep the lug sleeve from slipping out. Not sure, that's just how it looked from up close on the outside. But they are a lot more solid feeling than I had expected.
Here is the deal, if you have an instrument that you gig with and use a lot, it's going to get scuffed. Accidents happen. It doesn't matter what your gear is made out of or how careful you are, it will wear down (although some materials quicker than others).
But let me speak about these lugs as someone for whom the 799.99 I paid for them was a major investment. This is my only set of drums. I have been playing for 18 years and finally have an awesome American made maple drum set (up until recently I have played mostly at places that have their own kits). I saw the plastic on the lugs and didn't think twice about it. Why? Because of the way that the drums were designed. They can be easily replaced. I'm sure that if the time comes when I think, "I can't live with these scuffed lugs any longer!" I will be able to buy replacement lugs. And honestly I bet they will be cheaper to replace than metal lugs (which will also get scuffed up by the way).
Bottom line, if ludwig has to throw plastic on their lugs to get me this kit for that price (even if I had to pay $1000), I am more than happy to put up with some scuffed plastic.