Does painting melamine contradict the reason for using melamine?

There have been various posts on painting melamine. All basically concerned with the use of a primer etc. However my question remains unanswered.
I always thought that using melamine for kitchen carcasses was for hygiene as well as low cost.
If the melamine was painted then would this not remove the hygiene benefit?
Does anyone know where i could get pine or english oak melamine chipboard? Does such a thing exist?
Regards, Rich
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Have a look at International Decorative Surfaces http://www.idsurfaces.co.uk /
They do a wide range of "wood grain" melamine chipboard. I recently bought some with a blond ash finish for a bedroom re-furb. Their range includes several oaks and a couple of pines - so you might find what you want. They are all available in 18mm, and some also in 15mm.
HTH, Roger
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