Your cabinet finish sets the tone for your entire kitchen. A clean, crisp white finish can make even a dank and dark galley kitchen in a tiny apartment look brighter, while a warm, red cherry wood finish can make a spacious, modern kitchen look inviting and homey. It is important for you to think carefully about what sort of finish appeals most to you before you start buying new cabinets or working on the old ones because, in all likelihood, once you get your cabinets finished you are not going to be interested in replacing or refinishing them for a long time to come. Since your cabinets and their finish are probably going to be at least a ten year commitment, take the time to go over all of your finishing options before settling on a favorite.
Choose a cabinet finish that matches your floors. The only thing in your kitchen that you are even less likely to want to go through the trouble of changing unless it is absolutely necessary is your floors. Unless you are planning a total remodeling of your kitchen and getting brand new floors to go with your newly finished kitchen cabinets, then limit your choices of cabinet finish to those you know would look okay with the floor you already have. For example, crackle finish cabinets in a sweet shade of country blue are probably going to just look weird if you have ultra-modern, sleet granite tile floors. If you are refinishing cabinet you already own, then you also need to consider whether you will be keeping the original counter tops. If so, you are also going to need to take the look of these into account when making your choice.
Consider the upkeep and long-term appearance of your new finish. You already know that once you choose your cabinet finish, you and the finish are going to be living together for a long time. Be honest with yourself about how hard you are on your stuff. Sure, crackle finishes and the new super low sheen finishes look cool in Better Homes and Gardens. That is because you are not seeing any pictures of cabinets that have wear on them. In real life, these new specialty finishes are pretty easy to wreck, either with chipped paint or stains that you can't get out. If you have a household full of kids, don't go for the low gloss white finish. You also need to consider how wood stains will age. For example, over a ten year period oak and maple tend to yellow whereas cherry gets even darker.
Match your new cabinet finish to your own personal tastes. Lots of homeowners choose new cabinet finishes based upon some fantasy they are harboring regarding what will be most appealing to potential future homeowners. You have no idea what finish the people who may one day be interested in buying your house are partial to. You are the one who has to live with your new cabinet finish, so choose the finish that appeals most to you personally. Let other people worry about their own remodeling!