It's far from perfect but, for my first piece of furniture, I'm pretty proud of it.
I think I paid about $90 (including cutting it down, planing it, etc) for all the wood so it was still pretty economical, all told.
Instead of using edge banding, I got 1.5" trim and put that around the sides of the tabletop. I decided to use the trim because 1) I couldn't find edge banding in the color I wanted 2) It seemed like it was kind of a cheap finish for the table anyways. I just affixed it with some wood glue and a couple of carefully placed brads that, with the dark stain I used, you can't even see. Using the trim also allowed me to give it a decorative edge without the need for a router (don't have one...yet).
The wood I used for this was fir. I didn't want to go with regular knotty pine from a home improvement store so I got this from a local lumber yard (oak was way too expensive).
I stained it using Minwax Water Based Stain (toffee is the color) and finished it with 3 coats of Minwax Water Based Poly.