IMHO, A lot of the Nikkor-x.C lenses sold for the F mount bodies tend to provide less than optimum contrast. So, I tend to go with the single coated versions instead, since they tend to provide about the same contrast as the factory AI lenses do. Case in point, the Nikkor-S.C 50/1.4. Colors always looked washed out on the examples I owned. The Nikkor-S lenses, not so much. Those were much closer to the AI/AIS lenses.
AI conversion is a good idea. Might be able to get an AI ring from one of the various suppliers listed here: http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/aimod.html
I usually do reuse the non-AI prong, since the AI prong just looks odd on a chrome barrel (or in the case of the early 28/2, 35/1.4 and the black barrel -P/PC 105/2.5, metal focus ring) Nikkor.