My opinion is that silver is relatively easy to plate. Gold is a real pain. Lacquer has a reputation (in my opinion undeserved) as sounding duller. Bach lacquer was the industry standard for crap. That is why silver has taken such a foothold. For any with acid issues, there may be dietary help available. As far as the horn goes, simply wipe it down with a decent microfibre cloth. Soaks up the nasties leaving less potentially harmful moisture on the finish.