wood suggestions / budget drill recommendations

First, I am making the carcass frame and top for a workbench out of red oak, but thought of having some different type of plywood for the case itself to give it some visual appeal. Any suggestions on what looks good with red oak, taking into account grain and color?
Second, I am returning a HF radial drill press (long story) and need a replacement that is not too much different in price, but different in quality. (yea, I know, pick one or the other, not both) Either floor or bench is ok, radial feature not necessary, and would prefer to deal with local stores versus mail order. Any suggestions?
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You can get oak veneer plywood along with many other veneers but if your budget is limited, think of staining it so the tone is the same for the different species used.
To offer more help, it would be nice if you gave us some more clues:
1. What price range are you considering for a drill press? 2. Where is local? What stores are available to you?

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I bought some oak veneer plywood at the Borg but I discovered the "back" side looked better than the featureless oak on the front. With a "natural" minwax stain and poly my wife preferred the back to the front when choosing which side should go out on a wall mounted secretary desk I was building for her. I suspect that was garden variety birch or something.
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If you go the bench route, at least get one with a rack/pinion table movement.
I have the little 8" HF, and it's ok for what it is, but moving that table is a real PITA.
Were it me, to do over again, I'd get a floor model (grizzly maybe?) they're really not that much more, and don't take up that much floor space.
Regards, JT
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