I was really on the fence about buying these at Axpona, because of the sound quality and the paint
If they would have been veneered I wouldn't even have been tempted. Veneer just isn't in the cards for our decor/tastes.
It was only because it was a bit more than I wanted to spend, (and given that there was another option that interested me in the same class for less) But I stood there literally for 10 min Sunday having quite the "self-debate" and making sure with the lady there (Jim's wife?) that I understood what exactly the demo price was on this pair. They sounded great. To me, these sounded better than the other 2 models there, even the bigger model, in that room/placement.