I love the look/beauty/accent that the exotics bring to a piece, but I always weigh its use on the cost and the replacement of the tree, something that I don't think they do a lot of. I love the smell and look of Lignum Vitae (I keep a fruit jar of the shavings at work and sniff it like a junkie when the morons get to me, which is frequent), but it is a prime example of a wood that was heavily used in everything from construction of houses to ships to the point of becoming very scarce. It would be much better if they replaced what they took, what we all take, and maybe add just a little each time; or organize a plantation like is done with cherry and others.
I specialize in fairly small projects such as jewelry boxes, small turnings etc. Hence, the cost is not an issue, except for anything that is sold by the pound! On top of all things, 95%of my projects are gifts. And I convinced my girlfriend that I was buying all those tools to make some extra money...
I love exotics for guitars because you don't need much, and they tend to be stiff. If my focus was more on furniture, I would rarely use them.
If you're using a wood that doesn't grow quickly, and needs to be shipped a thousand miles to get to you, at least use it for something phenomenal.
Hi from Johannesburg South Africa. Living here I am luck to be able to use the African hard woods and not have to pay a lot. One of the most beautiful is Rhodesian teak. the grain is something to look at. However one of my favorite woods is Douglas fir/ Origan pine here it cost a little more because it is imported. Possibly what we should try is using more local timmber then accsenting our projects with the over timbers. Doing this if you think carfully you can bring out the true beauty of the timber and your work. Keep on making saw dust.