They are actually decals, but if you didn't know they were, it would be real hard to tell them from paint.
Best part was the price, $120, and I didn't have to leave my bike somewhere for weeks and spend thousands of dollars. It's the first time I've ever applied graphics and it came out almost perfect, there are a few tiny bubbles which they say should disappear in a couple of weeks.
I know some guys look down on decals but to me saving the money and knowing I did it myself gives me way more satisfaction than spending big bucks on something I can't look at and say "I did that". And I can't afford to spend a couple grand or more on paint right now anyway.
If anyone's interested I got them at this website. If you don't like Mr. Flamehead they've got tons of others.
They have excellent application instructions. Just don't try to put them on up north yet unless you have a well heated garage, they recommend a temperature of about 70 degrees.