Duffer, spray painted polyurethane will look very good and be very durable. If you don't have spray equipment, you might be able to get a local auto body shop to do it for you. (Not with auto paint!<G>)
Powder coating prices will vary, your best bet is to find someplace in you local yellow pages so you don't have to ship the pedestal back and forth. If you tell them you can be flexible, so they can do it "sometime this month" while they're already spraying white, they may also be able to flex a little on price. You'll still need to do the prep, but maybe that's a good excuse to replace all the bushings and things while you're in there.