Could you powder-coat it? A long time ago a company called Niles made in-wall volume controls that had some type of baked finish (white). It was touched frequently and it was essentially un-scratchable and really easy to clean. They went the typical path of most companies and switched to molded plastic though. I've also known people to clear powder coat polished alluminum wheels (Welds) so they don't ever have to polish wheels again...the brake dust will rust into the finish, but the maintenance was much much easier.