Wood can be a wonderful material for countertops. If you think of it, wooden table tops were the original kitchen counters. Of course, over the years other materials have taken over, but wood remains a beautiful material to use, even if judiciously, in your kitchen. Here in New Hampshire we are fortunate to have a wide variety of beautiful local woods available, plus the usual imported species available.
If your wood counter is to be used for cutting, a food-safe oil finish is imperative, and butcher block is specifically designed for this. If the counter is more for an eating surface or a desk top, then a sealed finish might be suitable. If the wood counter is going to be in a wet area, such as around a sink, then extra care in maintaining the finish will be necessary.