I think it's a very thin layer of something reflective on top of the wood, with a clear coat on top of that. I haven't noticed it being chippable more so than any other guitar... I haven't exactly babied it, but I'm not drop kicking it or anything like that either. I think I have one minor scratch in the finish that you can notice if you hold it up to the light and angle the guitar just right and look really hard, otherwise it has held up far better than I thought it would.
I do remember doing the Evo Experience a few years ago before my guitar arrived, seeing Vai's look rather beat up, and thought that it still looked pretty darn good, so I stopped worrying about it at that point. I can see about trying to get a picture or two on photobucket or something so you can see what it looks like at this point, I don't polish the finish as often as I should, so it's often covered with fingerprints and sweat from my forearm, but then it cleans up real nice when I do get around to cleaning the finish.