Wire Verses Soft
I see no reason to make the discussion of Wire Verses Soft any more difficult than it needs to be so I'll spell it out in very short order.
The German WIRE Coat is the ORIGINAL coat of Schnauzers and is what is called for in MOST Breed Standards.
That said: it does not mean that a soft coated Schnauzer is not a purebred (*7 generation development), it simply means that somewhere in the breeding of that particular bloodline a DIFFERENT BREED of dog of softer coat was used thus producing soft coated offspring.
The soft coated variety was a change in coat type here in the United States so therefore we now distinguish the two by saying German Wire Coat and/or American Soft Coat.
If your against Merles, Parti's, Tri's, Browns or even a registry other than AKC then by common sense rule you should also be against the SOFT coated variety of Schnauzer. I've found however that breeders tend to find ways to justify what they breed and don't breed and condemn others that don't go along with their new playground set of rules.
I personally prefer the WIRE coat as it is VERY SLOW growing, will only mat if totally neglected and has less tendency to pick up debris that gets re-deposited on the new carpet or day old furniture. The Wire Coat is virtually maintenance free. A wire coated Schnauzer can easily go 4 to 6 months without a full grooming (*shave). The wire coat doesn't retain water thus easier to bathe. The wire coat, in my experience, also has less odor than the soft coated variety and I'm attributing that fact to it not absorbing water - thus ODORS - like the soft coated variety will do. While I can't prove it to be fact, I'm a firm believer, that the soft coated variety has been bred out of the Cocker Spaniel as some of the soft coated variety tend to have the same issues with odor that the Cocker Spaniel does.
The one problem that I've found with the WIRE coated variety, where puppy buyers are concerned, is that the hair is still what some would call SHORT on an 8 week old puppy leading many to believe, (*those that aren't experienced with the Schnauzer Wire coat - PROPER coat I might add), that it does not have a good coat. It is however the PROPER coat for the breed. It generally takes 6 to 8 months for a Wire coat to produce full coat effect. I can say however, without doubt, that it is worth the wait. An 8 week old WIRE coated Schnauzer puppy could be groomed (*shaved) but the remaining hair would be so short that it doesn't justify the time, trouble and expense. We generally start the grooming (*shaving) process on our Wire coated Schnauzers around 4 months of age.
The choice is YOURS but there are differences that you should be aware of PRIOR to purchasing one.
If you have the time, money and WILL DO for a soft coated Schnauzer and PREFER the soft coated variety then they are absolutely gorgeous dogs and could be the right type for you. If you however are limited on time, resources, finances and find you are always a day behind on everything then I highly RECOMMEND that you purchase a wire coated one instead of the more maintenance required Soft coated Schnauzer.
If you plan to just keep one shaved then I will still recommend the WIRE coated one as the difference is a shave every 6 to 8 weeks verses a shave every 6 months. The eagerness to please, the loving companion and the overall GREAT Schnauzer Temperament is still ingrained in both coat types.
Another advantage to the Wire coated variety is the ability to be less available to small hands who might PULL the coat causing the dog discomfort and potential tendency to snap.