Well to simply put it, it's all about surface. Wood will always be different then synthetic.
Wood that is well taken care of will perform just as well as synthetics. But well cared for wood is hard to find. usually if you find wood it looks like it should have been resurfaced or replaced many moons ago.
typically wood the backends are harder to clean because wood even when sealed and varnished can still absorb oil and not want to let it go. Usually with wood oil will move around faster, and dry up as it doesn't hold down to the surface.
With synthetics it's a different story. It's easier to maintain and clean. a harder surface with less porsity(sp?) makes things so much easier. Typically backends can be more consistant with synthetics and proper cleaning and stripping. The newer synthetic surfaces can hold oil better than ever before. The newer verisons of Brunswick Anvil prolane, and the new Qubica lane surface are very hard and durable. Usually it's not uncommon for less conditioner to be needed to make things feel as slick. these types produce less friction, so more aggressive balls are needed.
The Amf synthetic is softer and balls can generate more friction and more hook, generally they are also softer, so the lane will absorb the ball's impact better. You can even notice it. It's been proven time and time again that the AMF lane surface is higher scoring. The reason for this in a nut shell is that you can throw the ball just a tad harder and it will have little effect on ball reaction. With the brunswick and lower friction surfaces, it's tougher, usually if you throw the ball a pinch too fast you loose a tiny bit of ball reaction, and get tapped.
Thats my theroy behind it.
Timothy @Juniors Pro-Shop