There are a lot of good arguments on all sides of this issue and it is perhaps the most often discussed topic on this list. I know and deeply respect the holders of most of the opinions that have been presented on this over the years. I myself have often taken positions on this issue. The fact that so many folks of good faith and considerable knowledge can come down on so many sides of such an issue suggests a couple of things.
Firstly, that there is almost certainly no single right idea on the subject. Next, that the issue varies from bike to bike depending on a myriad of issues. Next we come to what I'd really like to say on this: because of the complexity and variance of bikes and owners it is impossible to define in any meaningful way whether someone is right or wrong, unless their actions are really ghastly or above any criticism at all. Such cases are fairly rare. Therefore one should go very slowly in criticizing in harsh terms the choices others make along these lines. Who the hell ever restored a bike for any reason other than love of the bike? We're all in this because we love bikes. Let me suggest that some of this affection and regard be extended to others who are trying their best to come up with a really pleasing bike and bear in mind that it may well not please all. Nice if it does, but if it pleases the owner, it is , after all, their bike. Museum piece or rider, it is essential that once the that original finish is gone that it not be tossed. Bikes need restoration to stay on the road (or even on the wall) and thank goodness that there are owners and restorers out there who do this kind of stuff. Three cheers to them all! They often make my day.
Lansing, MI USA