I too generally prefer to not stain or dye the wood. 90% of what I do is finished natural. I probably should take a lesson from Bill and apply some stain to my walnut pieces to prevent fading.
This was some bug infested oak that I used to make the computer desk. The desk he wanted looked like an Ikea project to me so I used some pretty degraded wood I want to get rid of. It looked better than I thought it might and my son was pleased. He is not terribly upset with the tape fiasco. He is military and so is his wife, so they will move frequently. The choice seems to be to build them disposable stuff or something indestructible. I built them a dining table with 6 x 6" legs and two inch thick top, White Oak, bolted together with 3/4" bolts. Lets see what the movers do with that. It was fumed so I don't thing the color will fall off.