Well, I'll attempt to summarize what Bill, Andy, and CNC NE have stated:
The L31 Vortec shortblock does have a proven history of bearing failures, most of which can be attributed to the intake gasket failure and the resulting oil & water mix. (Google finds tales of spun bearings/rods knocking across all GM forums).
Some find these 200K blocks with little to no bore wear (just hone & refit standard pistons), but most will require the typical overbore.
At minimum a hone & decking is required on these L31 seasoned blocks, with some recommending the torque plate to simulate the heads installed. (Opinion here - I'm doubting the additional 2% lb-ft of output torque will make any difference for my street/cruising engine, nor justify the additional cost. )
In my case, I'm looking for a "nostalgia" old school SBC for my 70 Malibu. I've already invested in the Vortec heads & intake, so a L31 would be an improvement (my opinion here) with the 1 pc. sealing system and the factory roller came/spider setup, even a factory windage tray. I hope to find a 100Kish L31 that has been well maintained, but I expect this will take awhile, or a bunch of $$$ to locate.
I'll run the numbers with my local quality engine machinist, but I expect the full boogie L31 refreshening with the aforementioned work will fast approach the $2K cost of these same engines in crate version. I'd like to be able to say "I built it myself" but we shall see where the economics point me.
Thanks gentlemen for all of the input.