it's harder on tools, yes, but we're talking about high-production or high-use scenarios, over a long period of time. and it does take a bit more work to level and crown, but most independent luthiers spend forever doing that anyway. so this... is not really an issue in this case. I wouldn't worry about this slowing anything down. I personally haven't felt any significant difference between nickel and SS, but I very rarely bend, and dress my frets pretty regularly.