I think it is pretty much "common knowledge" that BLO pops the grain, particularly on figured boards. However, I was putting together a test panel of curly maple veneer to try out various dye stain colors and finishing schedules for a jewelry chest I will be making soon. I tried various stains, and used BLO on half of those, while just using shellac on the others.
Frankly, other than slightly darkening the wood, I don't see that BLO pops the grain any more than just using straight shellac. Is it just me, or have other people noticed this as well?