To regurgitate this oft, well, regurgitated topic amongst fingerstyle guitar players: I prefer natural nails because I use them all the time. Why? Because I don’t use them all the time! Consider:
Player one plays (or merely noodles) an hour or two every evening on his couch with his natural nails and listens to the sublime results and smiles contentedly at his cat / dog and kisses his wife fondly on the cheek.
Player two is on night 6 out of 20 of a 4 week tour of Slovenia and 3 nails have worn down to the quick and the other flew off at right-angles last night at the E major climax of a particularly passionate song.
Steel strings and specialized keratinized epitheleal cells (aka fingernails) were not made for each other and their times together are best carefully monitored if not strictly chaperoned. If I ever gig regularly again, it’s acrylics for me, methinks.
(For casual listeners: the fingernails in question are those that belong to the fingers that pick the strings, thereby giving voice to whatever skulduggery the fingers of the other hand are employed in at the other end of the guitar. I’m glad that’s clear.)