There's no getting over it, pucker electro chroming is the only way forward in my opinion. Damned expensive though. Here lies the problem with buying cheap bandits, Aristocrats, Sega Continentals, Jubilee Rivieras etc. They are so easy to get hold of, but to make them good costs an arm and a leg. They aren't worth rechroming. The price for chroming runs into hundreds of pounds, far more than the machine will ever be worth. Painting over existing chrome is very difficult; despite your efforts with acid etch primer, if the paint gets knocked, it often reveals the old chrome underneath. Pitting is a nightmare to deal with too, despite layers of primer and sanding. I guess this is why I'm seeing so many stove enameled bandits coming to light; e.g. Powell's Rivieras etc.
Does anybody know how much it costs to dechrome machine parts?!?
Chrome is a pain in the butt; the next restore project I will go for will be something that has little chrome, e.g. a Mills Hi Top. Highly polished alloy looks awesome, so chrome isn't the be all and end all for me.