I'm only using my thumb, and really just using it to "accentuate" a thumb strum. But, I couldn't get it to grow out enough without chipping the corner of it that makes most contact with the string. So, probably a less intense problem than legit fingerpicking.
I tried laminating with some "nail strengthening" polish and silk. That did work pretty well, but it was way too much of a hassle to do, and when it lifted (which it did weekly), a big thick layer of laminate material would peel right off of my fingernail. That, plus the stuff took ages to dry! (could be that the bottle I was using was several years old) It was supposed to "fortify" the nail (I never saw a difference), but the polish itself dried a little soft and prone to peeling.
After some time poking around on Amazon and the interwebz, I came across Sally Hansen "Diamond Strength", which claims to have diamond dust, unicorn horn and fairy tears in it. Something like that. Anyway, all the reviews say that it really is very hard. And it dries quickly. I gave it a shot.
I've been impressed with it so far, it's been a couple months. A light coat dries to touch in about 45 seconds. You can use a file to smooth it after a few minutes. When I'm starting from bare nails, I do a couple light coats and touch up with a glass file. I find that overnight, the finish amazingly settles as it cures and looks pretty good. I'm fidgety, though... so I grab the glass file by my chair and polish it down to a smoother finish, and then put another coat or two on it... repeat the filing the next day. By then, I'm pretty much good for two weeks! I'll often touch it up on Friday or Saturday. But, I only have to strip the polish and redo it every other week. I'm okay with that.
My other fingers, I just give a single light coat just so that all my fingers look the same (it's high gloss clear). It does a good job of keeping things from chipping. It's very hard and smooth.
On the thumbnail, a big part of my goal is to protect the nail so that it can continue to grow stronger. So, I don't do any filing of the top of my nail at all. Just nail polish remover. I file the tip to shape and smooth it. Then, when I paint that thumbnail (it's the only one that's long, every other nail is very short), I paint not just the top, but also the BOTTOM and be sure to wrap around the front edge. Fully protecting the nail.
That's been working for me. It allows the nail to grow in as strong as it can. And every time I think I'm starting to see chipping in that corner of the nail where it would always split before... it's just the polish! I can usually peel up the small chip, hit it with the file (being careful to not actually file the nail), and then "re-seal it" with the nail polish and get a few more days out of it.
I thought I'd try laminating with this same polish and silk. But, so far, I haven't felt the need. It's getting the job done with just a few thorough coats.
"Diamond Strength" is quite hard after a 12-24 hour cure. Even if you just used it as a top coat, it could be helpful.