I think it depends on the look you are after. Find a wood that when finished gives you the look you want. There are plenty of great hardwoods. I love walnut and my 8x20 is out of Walnut. I have had to use hand tools for most of the work and I love the way the wood works. The finish is a hand rubbed oil finish wet polished to 800 grit with diamond pads and then a protective satin wax. All hand rubbed. Yes I am a glutton for punishment. But so far so good. Good luck. I will post some pic's this weekend after some assembly.
Stay Focused....or Soft Focused!