I guided and paddled there for two seasons with ACE. Sweet deal back then...out of town guides got the weekend trips only(busy days) because the WV guides wanted to make money by working all four days. So, we could paddle the Upper and Lower all in one day if we wanted as long as we went to the the put-in and blew up boats with the gear truck. Free shuttle and lunch, and that's saying something on the Gauley. I think the ratings are hyped by the rafting companies but some rapids deserve V ratings depending on flow and consequences.
gh - you should go, it is a great time. The commercial scene is heavy during releases and dodging all the hypolon might increase rapid ratings and adventure.
I did a double upper commercial trip and ran the the first leg clean, second leg the guys on my 8 client boat(14' Hyside) were begging to get worked, so I worked 'em. Eddyline flip left of and 50 yds below Iron Ring, dumptruck at Pillow rock, pasted Postage Due at Sweets with swimmers, taco at Taco Bell, flip at Fuzzy Bunny, and a dumptruck at Julie's Juicer. Many fun and safe places to dump people but you don't want to mess around in Insignificant, Lost Paddle, Ship Rock, and other spots.
I saw the Upper at about 300 CFS and there is some nasty stuff in there. Especially impressed and scared of the left side of Ship Rock. We could see through a cave but not air all the way, it looked like illuminated water on far end. But it was dark and we didn't have the best vantage point.
We encountered three copperheads at a lower campspot below Hell Hole. Oh, and last note is that the hike up Panther Creek is brutal and slippery.