There are several factors to consider, but overall, REAL is always better than fake. I realize that there is a difference in price, but in the long run, it is worth it. Especially if this is for your own personal home. Even if it is a rental or a flip, you will usually add enough value by using real wood to cover the difference in price. I can tell you first hand that you can put real wood floors down for as little as 1.99 s.f., and many of the "higher end" species for around $5 s.f. including Walnut, Maple, Poplar, Oak, Cherry, Sassafras and Heart Pine. In my opinion, there is just no comparison!