I'm not a Stern machine owner nor have I really kept up with every post in this thread, so forgive me for making any assumptions or being wrong.
I don't understand why the "fix" is to install washers under the posts, if the problem is in the clear coat and not the posts themselves. The washers will just create a larger diameter "pool"; you could install a 1" washer and you'd have a 1" wide pool, as evidenced by pictures of pooling around washers. Same goes for pulling the artwork away from the posts - is the problem caused by the artwork or the clear coat? Pulling the artwork away will just make the chipping, once it occurs, less noticeable since there won't be chipped artwork, just chipped clear coat.
I never planned to buy a NIB (after my first one from CGC), though I was tempted to get the new BK game, but now I've pretty much written off anything Stern has to offer. And JJP? Simply forget it. Seems like they embody, or are starting to embody, everything that is wrong with the pinball world.
Or maybe chipped playfields are just part of Stern's new "Lifestyle Brand"...