I like working with poplar; it's cheap, and easy to work. Until now, I've used it only for painted pieces, because I'd heard that it didn't take stain well.
The latest issue of Wood Magazine suggests that you can pretreat poplar with Rit fabric dye before using stain and wipe-on poly. According to the article, this takes care of the blotchiness and produces a "rich look of walnut".
Has anyone tried this?