When I build my large work bench I used MDF for the surface. I chose MDF because it is strong enough for my application which is primarily the chop saw for cutting lengths of raw lumber.
My glue table is 1/2 ply. I use this because it's cheap and as glue builds up on the table I can remove it and replace with a new sheet quickly and easily.
For my smaller portable benches I used White Ash that I planed and jointed to build me a very strong and stable work surface. This is primarily where I lay out my lumber and mix and match grain patterns to suite my needs. This also serves as an area for me to clamp down projects to use the router, sanders, or for staining.
If your work bench is going to serve multiple purposes, I would consider multiple surfaces. Break down your needs and chose products based on your applications. Price to replace and strength required.