I just built this table over the weekend. I started building this on a Saturday afternoon and finished it on Sunday afternoon. On Monday I put a coat of Minwax Honey on it. On Tuesday, I put a second coat of stain on it. On Thursday, I put a coat of semi-gloss poly on it and on Friday, I put a second coat of poly on it. All in all, I'd say I put in about 15 - 20 hours on it. Well worth the time and effort and cash savings!
I used a Kreg pocket-hole jig instead of nails which caused me to have to think a little bit about where and how I wanted to join the wood together. I also spent a little more on some nice wood (pine) as this was going in our front living room and I wanted it to look as nice as possible.
This is really only the second piece of furniture I've ever built. I built a beam mantle last month just in time for Christmas. I think both of them turned out really nice! Let me know if you have any questions.
Minwax Semi-Gloss Poly (2 coats)