I realize that Sonor does it too, but they don't market it as "exotic" do they? I'm not saying it looks bad, it's just not what they say it is. To me its similar to the bell brass and bell bronze topic a while back.Sonor does the same thing. It's called Alpi veneer. Is it OK that Sonor does it and adds $800-1000 per SQ2 kit that's equipped with an Alpi veneer? Do you like the wood trim in Bentleys, BMWs, Mercs? That's Alpi too. Shit's expensive and don't forget that you're getting 6-8 coats of lacquer on top of it too on the high gloss veneers. It's eco friendly and easier to match if you get an add on drum down the line. Here's a couple pics of my toilet seats.
If I were to get a kit with an exotic veneer, after I win the lottery because it would be an 8 piece kit, it would have the actual wood, not something thats printed on there. Maybe it's due to always having wrapped kits because my kit travels to shows where lacquer finishes don't do so well in that environment.
In the end, all the top end kits will produce a nice tone, and you should choose who has the finish and hardware you like best. This was said to me by a friend's dad who is/was a top drum tech in LA who worked with all the top shelf kits & companies in the live and recording world.