Quoted from ctviss:
At the risk of opening a can of worms and blowing everything out of proportion... my AFMr SE playfield is less than perfect. It doesn't bother me; even if it did, what would I do? No way I'm going to deal with a playfield swap or sending the entire machine back, as this is my first NIB machine and second machine in total. The hassle of that far outweighs what I might gain.
I certainly chalk this up to variations as these are all hand-made like CGC says, so not every playfield will be absolutely perfect. If you're a perfectionist and won't deal with anything less, this definitely isn't the hobby for you.
The "defects" are all in the silkscreening. There is a white spot, and little lines where only the dark gray silkscreening didn't seem to adhere, but not in all areas. The most obvious is a tiny patch/splotch, first picture. You can't see the faint lines unless you're looking for them with your face pressed to the glass.
There is also a shallow scratch, in the last image. I really can't say for sure whether I caused this or it was always there, but I didn't notice it until about a month after owning the machine. Again, this is only noticeable with my face pressed to the glass.
I'm sure many other SE owners have perfect playfields. Outliers always exist, and do not represent the quality as a whole.
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Its not the existence of defects- or lack thereof- that's the moral problem here. This is pinball, a steel ball rolling, so, in a sense, we're all waiting for the proverbial hammer to fall. That includes LE and even HEP restore owners as well, assuming they intend to play their games at some point.
Whether it be a sign of ghosting, crazing, or your first broken plastic, nothing in life has any business being or staying perfect anyway. Though I admire the quest for greatness...in pinball, as in most things.
The issue here is the question of your odds of getting a product that's acceptable to you, the customer, right out of the box, and whose actually entitled to better odds for landing the best of the best playfields in the playfield lottery, if anyone, and why. Knowing also that every customer is different, and that quality comes at a very high expense.
If you bought an LE, your chances to be satisfied with what playfield you got are bona fide higher, out of box, based on what we learned last night. And the fact that you, an LE buyer, didn't pay for this "right" any more than I did as an SE buyer, that's at the heart of the moral problem here.
What you did pay more for was trim, topper, shaker, plaque, plasma disc and extra warranty. That's IT. Unless stated in the product catalog, all levels should have equal chances of winning or losing the playfield "lottery." Period.
That said, while a misprint or bleed to the side for most everyone may be a non-issue/acceptable deviation, through the lower center of the playfield could be quite another. And maybe not even then, on location. Or to a buyer who has somewhat poorer eyesight. It's a case by case question that should exist for CE, SE and LE buyer equally, unless otherwise stated as a bonus of your upgrade decision.
Right now, if you're an LE buyer, though you may have to wait, you already can be comfortable knowing you won, while someone else may have lost. To me, given that you didn't pay for this privilege any more than I or someone else with an SE or CE did, and that we weren't even given a chance to make the decision for ourselves at point of sale to opt-out of the "perfect playfield lottery" we fairly assumed all were subject to, I think that's just wrong. And I find that no less wrong, whether the SE or CE buyer in question ended up winning their own particular playfield lottery, or he/she lost.