I have been looking at the west elm desk for about a year. I found this desk and hesitated after reading some reviews. I finally purchased it for my daughter, just didn't want to spend that much money for the West Elm desk when so many things needed to be bought to redo her bedroom, I wanted to put the money on other things. I was SO PLEASED when opening, easy to put together, sturdy, my daughter LOVES it! I would HIGHLY recommend it...it is not lacquered, but at that price who cares!! Simply said, if you don't have a problem spending over *** for the WE desk or you have the time to save the money, buy their desk...for me, I needed the desk, I wanted the desk, when it came down to saving over 50% vs lacquered finish?...that was when I clicked the purchase button...couldn't be happier!