On a resistive screen, you have to put enough pressure on the plastic overlay to create a kind of contact on the sub-layer. Over time and with heavy usage, the more-used pressure areas become unusable or at best intermittent in operation. Mind you, I'm talking a minimum of one year of heavy use; the machine itself may or may not die before the contact pad.
On the other hand, a capacitive display requires NO pressure and as such will not wear out with use. Granted, it is notably more sensitive to inadvertent contact, but the display is not damaged in any way and can remain as clear and sensitive years later as though it were new. So your request to refrain from the old "stylus-causes-screen-damage story" is still in-valid. The newer technologies are notably better than the old resistive displays.
Personal opinion: I like the Wacom type of stylus better than the typical capacitive foam tip--but it's also more expensive and needs its own charging or power supply which increases cost of ownership. You get the accuracy of the older resistive system with the sensitivity and variable-pressure capabilities of the Wacom tablets--on your active screen. It's unfortunate for now that the Wacom pen stylus doesn't work on the iPad--as far as I know. I would take it in a heartbeat.
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