I just love that work. You certainly made a good choice in switching. There is no comparison between what you are doing now and the entertainment center - but then I don't like red oak either.
The last 4 or 5 years I spent full time, I did a whole lot of not rustic so "much as make it look old" work. There are not that many people doing it and you can charge the big bucks. For one, it is slow and tough on tools, what with all the rust fragments from nails and bolts that cant be gotten out. Plus, the best looking stuff is crumbly, and you really have to have enough from the same source to do a complete job. It's a pain, but can be very rewarding.
The den below was a white oak barn floor upstairs in a very old building that had to come down. I glued up material for the door right of the fpl so it would match. For the cabs and panels, I joined, planed then edge glued boards together. Then I sandwiched the panels between two sheets of plywood glued them up, then bandsawed them apart on the builder's resaw, which would handle 12" widths.
All this was because the material was so crumbly, and I couldn't get enough that looked the same - so I doubled the sq footage for all the walls and cabinet carcases.
The architect wouldn't let me run the entertainment center to the ceiling for some reason. We went round and round on that.
That cab is quite a bit bigger than it looks like so I had to use one of th0se hafele scissors rigs for the doors.
If you ever get into doing the nail imbedded stuff - the best thing you can do is invest in a 20" chop suey planer with a 4 knife head and run two carbide and two steel knives in it. The steel keeps the carbide from shattering and the carbide does most of the the cutting. And that's after checking thoroughly with a metal detector of course. The big black blotches in the picture are metal stains. The looks of this stuff grows on you. I didn't like it at first.
You do great work Big Dave. I bet you could find a use for some old garbage wood. Here and there.