I have the 2010 version and played the VE. I did not see any difference in the way the pin felt or played. And all Sterns have plenty of clear coat so that is really not an issue with any Sterns I have ever seen, including Iron Man. Never seen bare wood on any of the Sterns I have owned and I have had a few. My IM was routed so saw lots of play and the machine is in great condition.
So Bottom line is get the best price you can on a good example and you will be happy.