Scott, I was thinking of the same thing, too, specially after reading Dexter Ewing's review on the AFCK w/ M2 blade. I don't know about the ATS-34 steel, but M2 rusts easily, that's why they coated it with BT2.
According to the review, Dexter buffed off a portion of the BT2 coating until the steel shows, and was he continued using it under rain, and other wet conditions. No rust appeared, so it seems BT2 did penetrate the steel. But personally, I would rather have it there, for protection purposes. If it got all scratched up, you might want to try using sandpaper to make the colors more uniform, and remove the scatches. It will turn more grayish, but at least, you still have the protection of BT2.
But if you decided to remove it all the way, let me know how it goes. I guess that's a good test as any on BT2's steel penetrating ability.
[This message has been edited by Dannyc (edited 09 May 1999).]