I have the SS and it is too bad they are being discontinued. IMHO I guess they do add a small amount of protection from the elements, but the metal quality is not that high so the protection factor is minimal.
I suspect the SS model was primarily made to give people another choice other than black and with the costs being higher they simply do not sell enough to justify continued production. Personally I like mine. I never have cared for black colored products, not even cars.