stain and finish

I've recently finished building a mission style desk out of quartersawn white oak and am ready to stain/finish it. After the 100s of hours it took to complete, the last thing I want is to screw up this step, and I've never been particularly good at this last step, so I'm seeking advice.
I'd like to have a deep brown color with a fairly durable finish that is somewhat resistant to abuse, as my kids will likely work at the desk from time to time as well. What I'm hoping that people can provide is specific recommendations for color/brand of finishes that have worked for them, as well as any tips on application technique that I should (or shouldn't) use. I know there's information on these things elsewhere, and I've read a good bit on it, but there are also many contradictions so I'm hoping to learn from someone who has had firsthand success. Of course, I'll be testing whatever people recommend on scrap pieces before the final attempt.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
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On 24 Aug 2003 07:46:18 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Bob) pixelated:

That's because of the fallacy brought on by the likes of Minwhacked, et al, that wood must be stained and polyed. Repeat after me "I will finish wood. I do not need to stain it. I do not need to wrap it in Saran."
You haven't assembled it yet, right? Fume it with ammonia and wax it. The fuming goes deep and the wax is easily redone, even by the kids. Use a wax for dark woods. Briwax makes one. If you like a shinier finish, try Waterlox, a mix of tung oil and oil- based varnish. Links follow.
http://www.taunton.com/fw/features/techniques/fuming/1.htm Awshit, they lost this one or put it in the pay files. Sigh... below is the link they list:
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Fumed_oak_finish.html
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Bob wrote:

Get Flexner's book - "Understanding Wood Finishing" - it will answer most, if not all, of your questions.
I like Larry's recommendation for fuming - it's a great look with mission styles. However, wax provides absolutely no protection against daily wear and tear. Shellac, laquer or varnish will protect the piece for years to come.
C
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 01:16:49 GMT, Chris Merrill

Sir, please show me a horribly worn piece of furniture made of oak. C'mon, oak doesn't "wear". Crikey!
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 12:55:53 GMT, Chris Merrill

Search the Wreck archives for tests the guys here have done. Fuming works WAY deeper than stain. And it prevents the worn-thru look stain has a month after it's done. Feh!
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