Yeah for Melamine
I, too find melamine useful at times. I love the fact that I don't have to finish the inside of the cabinet and it is extremely easy to keep clean. I also use 1/4" mel. for my drawer bottoms and they are super easy to keep clean, especially when used in a utensil drawer where there is not usually a special fixture like a silverware drawer. Melamine does have some disadvantages; it is heavy, it will suck up water and get ruined (biggest problem) and you need to use a special melamine glue. Using the correct blade will keep from chipping as mentioned and the user-friendly interior is a big plus. It comes in many colors and even comes in mel. one side, real wood veneer on the other side. The two biggest problems I see with it are weight and moisture, but I use it whenever I can and enjoy working with it. Obviously, there are times when you need a finished wood interior (like when using glass doors) but you can save quite a bit of money by not having to finish the cabinet interiors.
Are you going to apply a stain to your cabinets? Maple is one of the hardest woods to stain evenly. I used to work in a mill where we supplied interior doors and trim. Some of the door companies would not stand behind their maple doors if they were stained and returned for cosmetic reasons. You have two choices; using a pre-stain on your wood (still doesn't always work for blotches) or tinting your finish coats (best way). I really shy away from staining maple if I can, it takes a finish beautifully, but not a stain....from my experience.
Best of luck,