The guys that do the projects for the magazines are not spending their money. I have a mix of plywood ,no Baltic birch, just cabinet grade, and mdf cabinets, roll around stands and etc. Either one is fine for a workshop. Medium density fiberboard is different from plywood in that you have to watch out for splitting when putting screws in it. There are several special screws on the market for MDF (google McFeeleys). It will dull blades & tools faster than Plywood. Use a dust mask, it has some nasty dust. It will paint, take edging and etc. You can paint the edges and get a smooth surface that you can not get with plywood. With ply the layers will show through. I personally don't like iron on edging. It is not a lot of extra work to add wood edging, but as I said I wouldn't bother edging MDF. Stained plywood looks better than painted MDF but you are building shop furniture. It's a personal choice. Most reasonably priced furniture on the market is MDF covered with a woodgrain paper product. Most of us can't afford REAL wood furniture anymore. Use it, you'll probably be happy with the results, besides its a good learning experience. All that said, for the purist, there is no finer plywood than Baltic birch.