There is a really big difference between real wood furniture and the pressed wood, laminate cheap stuff that everyone can buy at Target, Wal-Mart, IKEA and places like that. Real wood (like the goods home furnishings best furniture) is heavier and lasts a lot longer. It is easier to repair dings and scratches in real wood, and does not need much maintenance other than keeping it clean by dusting regularly. The only real drawback to real wood is that it can get mildew in it if kept in an area that is humid or damp, and if someone places a wet object on the wood and lets it sit there for a while, the finish will discolor.
I always get upset when someone sets a glass down on my dining room table without using a coaster, because I get a light colored ring on the table top from the condensation. I use tablecloths, place-mats and coasters, but some people ignore those and are just careless!
I wish I could leave the table uncovered and enjoy the beauty of the natural wood all the time, but over the years I have learned that it makes more sense to keep it covered with a pretty tablecloth to protect it from scratches and water rings.