I am planning on purchasing a V60 and was wondering if there was any difference between the brew produced by the plastic and the ceramic Hario V60?
The main difference between the ceramic and plastic V60 is heat retention. The ceramic will retain heat and can be pre-warmed, creating a stable temperature. Depending on who you are this may not make a huge difference but I prefer the ceramic as I feel the plastic sucks some heat out of the water/coffee.
The other reason I prefer ceramic is for cleaning purposes. The ceramic is nonporous and I've used mine for 6 months with no residue or stains whatsoever. The plastic can form build ups from minerals in water or coffee and start to appear visually unappealing (not sure if it will affect flavor of coffee)
The plastic V60 is obviously more durable and resistant to bumps and minor drops, so it can be a portable solution for coffee. However the ceramic V60 is the most visually appealing of the V60's (in my opinion) and it stays at my home on the counter so I prefer it. I believe the grooves inside the brewer and the size of everything is identical, so you can't go wrong with any of them.
I believe the previous answers have it backwards. Plastic is less conductive and will retain more heat in the slurry. The simple way to test this is to touch the side of the V60 during a brew. The ceramic will feel much hotter because it's dissipating more heat.
A pretty thorough experiment on this is documented here:
To add onto the previous answer, the main difference is indeed heat retention and cleaning. The ceramic will hold heat longer and is easier to clean. It is also more breakable.
I recently wrote a blog post reviewing another Hario model, the Hario V60 Copper, and another thing to keep in mind is that the more expensive ceramic, glass or metal Hario models will only improve your coffee if you've maximized other parts of your brewing. That means a high quality, consistent grind, and proper water temperature. I would look into a ceramic or copper Hario after improving these two things.
To clarify, the copper Vario is probably the best dripper because it distributes heat most evenly. Upgrading to this or the ceramic dripper will only improve your coffee marginally, however. Chances are good you could work on your pour technique or get a better grinder, and experience even better results.