When it comes to stains, the options are nearly limitless! In order to help you select the best stain for your new piece, I will provide a bit of information on the different types. First, let's start with the wood choice.
Most clients select Southern Yellow Pine for their tables. Pine is a perfect choice for rustic furniture! The knots add character, and since pine is a softer wood, it will dent and ding further adding to the charm. One disadvantage to pine is the tendency to stain unevenly or "blotch." Basically, the earlywood and heartwood absorb the pigment in different amounts which leads to an uneven coloring. There are a couple options to help control this though, and each type of stain has its benefits/drawbacks.
When it comes to blotch control on pine, there is no better choice than selecting a gel stain. Gel stains resist absorption; instead, they stay right at the surface of the wood, providing even color. General Finishes makes some of the best gel stains on the market. You can find more information on their website here. Their color choices are:
Oil stains require the use of a conditioner to help prevent blotchiness. The issue with a conditioner is it seals the wood cells, preventing some of the color from being absorbed. This inevitably leads to a lighter color; however, achieving your desired color isn't impossible! When it comes to oil stains, the number of color options really increases. I can't begin to post all the options here, but I will link to some of the available choices.