Re: bokken comparison (long post)
I have one of Kingfisher's impact-grade hickory bokken, and will testify to it's durability. I have never spintered it during training, and when I have dented it, they have slowly faded over time. It is a wonderful weapon to train with. It is heavier than most standard bokken made from kashi.
My hunch from MattRice's post is that his friend probably didn't actually have one of the high-end impact-grade bokken. If he had, the situation would likely have been reversed in terms of how each bokken fared.
My two cents.