So it's by design. Sorry, when I hear heel lift, it's associated to boots, not the bindings. Doesn't seem like an issue to be concerned about especially with actual users testimonies. I used Cartels back in 2009 and 2010 and loved them. But, they were on the 3d and 4-hole.
Any of those bindings are going to be great for you especially for you to learn and progress. Remember, the binding isn't going to make you a better rider and everybody is going to have their own opinion.
If a toe strap breaks down, isn't it under warranty?
I wouldn't be concerned about paint chips on a binding. Your board will sustain more damage than your bindings, especially since you're not riding park.