The similarity is obvious, but what are the differences? What are the advantages of growing one or the other?
The similarity is only in the bark color - and that is really most noticeable in winter anyway, when the tree is out of leaf. Otherwise rufinerve will get much larger and has rather "unmaple"-looking foliage, typically three lobed but sometimes as much as five. Have not seen fall color on 'Bihou' but rufinerves in general get very nice fall color.
Personally I am not all that knocked out by 'Bihou' but that's just me :-) Japanese maples in our area are a dime a dozen.......I'd go with something a little less expected myself, like the 'Winter Gold'.
Unfortunately, I've only seen the A. r. 'Winter Gold' in big buckets. I have champagne tastes and a beer budget. I've seen the A. p. Bihou' in gallons.
I saw somebody elsewhere say the 'Bihou' was a bit weak, mine currently has tip dieback.
I don't know about "Winter Gold", but A.p. Bihou is a blast! Extremely hardy and vigorous on CA Central Coast, slightly inland.
It has rich, golden-orange stems that show through the delicate, green foliage, leaves being somewhat similar to "Coral Bark". I truly love it. Oh yes, it is in a container on my deck.
In late winter, it should be pruned and re-shaped for Spring.
Love the look of Bihou. However ours died from what I assume is Pseudomonas over the winter. Had tip die back the first winter while in a pot, was moved into garage in protected, in and EXTREMELY mild winter. So planted it out last spring, hoping for better results. Result was death in a not exactly cold winter, but colder than the year before. Mean while all other JM are just fine. IMHO, I will not be trying Bihou again.