If you want real wood and don't mind the regular maintenance, then go w/it (and the costs associated w/it.) If you want the LOOK of real wood and DON'T want the maintenance and costs associated w/it, go w/a synthetic. I would add that, depending on the home, TRUE character is kept by going a-natural. For example, if you have an old Victorian or a true Colonial, then you could lose value by going synthetic. Those types of homes are usually owned by folks with $$$ or are VERY handy and can do the maintenace themselves to keep the costs down.