I don't like Pine
Unless you are going to make a a farm style cup board/armoire with a weathered look I wouldn't use Pine. It's difficult to work around the knots which are much harder than the surrounding wood and will not stain evenly.
I have used Poplar which is straight grained, and a great wood to work with. It will paint up beautifully. A faux finish would work also. Staining would be less than spectacular, but better if you sprayed on a dye rather than using a brush or a wipe on stain.
The HD near me used to sell Red Oak which I have stained and used for many a book shelf with good results. I don't know their current inventory of hardwoods. Check around for other sources for hardwood. Ask a local cabinet shop where they get their hardwoods and see if they would, be willing to sell you some or order some for you....?
The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)