Oak Kitchen Cabinets, Listen to Your Heart
Cabinetry built with oak used to be real poplar (just kidding — popular). While it's fallen out of favor somewhat, there are still lots of people who like it. If you really like oak kitchen cabinets, don't let salespeople talk you out of them.
Lots of folks I talk to in the kitchen design world say that oak kitchen cabinets went out of style in the 80's. Whether this is true or not, enough people must want them or the cabinet companies would have stopped making them. To be frank, I'm a bit prejudiced. I am not a big fan of oak. I'm more into the itght grained woods, so oak kitchen cabinets just don't float my boat. I had them in my last house, and swore I'd never get them again.
There are people who love oak though. Oak kitchen cabinets, oak trim, oak floors, they love them all. I say, bully for them. If oak kitchen cabinets toot their horn, all the power to them. Oak has several desirable characteristics. Oak takes a stain well (as opposed to maple, which can be a real pain sometimes). Oak cabinets have a character that can not be matched by any other woods. It has a unique grain pattern that can almost be heard, and this is even more pronounced when there's a stain involved.
Glazes on oak are rather interesting, since the wide open grain is deep too, and catches the glaze just like crevaces on tighter grained hardwoods. A shaker style door, like the one pictured above, would be worth glazing, whereas the same doorstyles in maple or birch would be a waste of 15%. In the end, it's your kitchen. Try not to be influenced by trends, especially if you're planning on staying in the house for a while. If you really like oak, get oak kitchen cabinets.