I work in the new construction market and am seeing hardwood going in kitchens more and more.For whatever reason it is becoming more and more popular.
Now back to the talk,for all reasons of practicality wood does not belong in an area where it can get wet.Wood and water do not mix,but people are willing to take that chance i guess.
The finishes on the wood now are quite strong and will withstand alot of abuse without having to refinish every other year,so maybe that is why people are putting it in more.
If you want a job finish floor then do what was reccommended earlir in this thread and hire someone to do it.
You should get alot of enjoyment out of it for along time providing you have no acts of god to flood you out or something of that sort.
Just remember that you rolling the dice and may end up eating that in the future.
Tile IMO is still the best route to go in an area where the possiblity exists that it may get wet