I can understand the checking issue and see were you may not like that etc... But I know poly does blunt down a guitars resonance atleast in some case. I had a partscaster I built years ago had a 74' USA neck on a MIJ body(poly finish).....it was so/so............I decided to heavy/relic it so I(got yelled at for it) hung the body from wire and baked it in the oven till the finish yellowed(was olympic white) then slowly and strategicly nicked and abused it.......as well as rub ashes and pot resin(yea I used too) into and onto it(looked awesome) anyways after I burned and abused the finish and exposed the wood it resonated way better.......one of the guitars I regret selling. Not that poly is BAD my strat now is poly and I like it allot. Just nitro is thinner and lets the wood ring better.......and I like the feel of it better myself too. My SG is nitro and I think it wood feel cheap in poly IMO.