I would recommend getting your intake powder coated. I just had mine done with Eastwoods "Almost Chrome" finish. Turned out very nice and no more polishing of the aluminum constantly. Cost me $60. I did protect the powder with a light coat of automotive clear, did dull the finish slightly but not much.
I've painted and powder coated intakes. I really prefer the original finish if possible. Maybe I had bad luck but the powder coat flaked off under the attachment bolts in a few places.
Paint can also be easily damagaed generally. However, I've found if you bake the part (manifold or whatever) in the oven for 20 minutes at 325 it really hardens up the paint. It becomes sort of like a high quality catalyzed finish.
One word of caution - it should not be done in the kitchen oven! The fumes are nasty and probably toxic, it will wreck the oven for normal cooking for a while, and it will really aggravate your wife!
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