No need to explain, disston, as I said, you were 100% right and I appreciatd the input.
Rub N' Buff is advertised as a wax (look at the photo of the package above) and it certainly acts like one in every way. It definitely does not seem like a paint. You apply it, let it sit for a bit, and then buff it out - just like a wax. When you get it all over your hands it can take a bit of scrubbing to get off, but not because it "sticks" like paint would, but rather because it fills in every single nook and cranny in your skin, just like a good wax. It also feels like wax - it has a light paste consistency and spreads for miles and miles.
You can adjust the appearance based on how much you buff it after you apply it. The more you buff, the more shiny and metallic looking it becomes. You could just apply it and leave it alone, and it would result in more of a dull grey finish.
I have yet to hear anyone who has tried it complain, but the biggest complaint I have heard from those who have not tried it is that it seems like a cosmetic waste of time - like make-up for a motor. Again, I would counter by saying that it protects the finish and keeps it clean and free of dirt. Most people don't think waxing the painted areas of the bike once in a while is a waste of time, so I don't know why applying Rub N' Buff to the engine to keep it from oxidizing and looking like crap is any different. You can coat the entire engine in an hour and for my uses, I suspect it will last a whole riding season. It's absolutely a no brainer to me. I'm normally not this anal, but after putting this much work into making a bike look new again, I find that I would like it to look that way for a while.
The other complaint I hear is that it looks unnatural and doesn't look like raw aluminum. Here's a photo I just took - the engine has Rub N' Buff and the valve cover is freshly cleaned raw aluminum that I have not yet applied the Rub N' Buff to. There is a very slight difference in hue, but I sincerely doubt anyone would be able to tell that my engine has Rub N' Buff on it without a piece of perfectly clean raw aluminum next to it.
OK, stepping off of the soapbox now. I fear Tin Woodman is right - this is starting to look like an infomercial for Rub N' Buff, but that's only because I'm so impressed by the stuff!
Merry Christmas guys and gals!