Stained with Minwax "Red Mahogany", and Minwax Paste Wax. We were going for a rustic, slightly "worn" look, which works well with my rustic, novice joinery. The finish came out nicely. We had read before that the poplar would take up the stain in a "blotchy" fashion, we did not use pre-finish, though we thought about it. Looking back, it might have evened out the color, but it works nicely.
The top being smooth-planed to reduce sanding. We left a lot of the rough plane marks to enhance the desired appearance. I had not accounted for the visibility of the wire-mess that emanates from my TV, so I might be adding some hideaway features shortly to hide the cables underneath.