I think I've tried just about every finish type under the sun at some time or another and I'm always trying new stuff whenever it comes out, mostly ending up disappointed with some aspect or another. Lacquer is messy and very smelly, same with enamels, oils can take forever to dry and mostly remain semi-soft, penetrating oils don't shine, shellac isn't durable enough and wax loses it's luster with handling... etc.
Like many others, I've been trying to find a finish that dries quick, is hard and durable, makes the wood look good, builds well and is non toxic. To date, nothing much has come close to giving me all that... until now. The stuff is General Finishes woodturners finish. It's a brand new water delivered oil/urethane hybrid and it kicks ass!
Now before all you woodworkers out there start rolling your eyes about it having water in it, it's not like any other I've tried. First, unlike most others, it actually doesn't raise grain. Goes on smooth, especially if airbrushed while running at low speed on the lathe. Dries *very* fast and the finish cures by oxidation, just like oils. It doesn't leave the wood looking bland either, the biggest complaint I have of water based finishes, it has clarity, depth and gives a lovely warm tone and brings grain out nicely. Lastly, it can be buffed to a mirror finish with micromesh, polishing compounds or a buffing wheel with a little white diamond on it.
Frankly I was pretty astounded with the stuff. It has all the properties I've been searching for in a finish, It is almost completely odorless and way less toxic than anything else giving even close results and it's now officially my fave finish. General Finishes have outdone themselves with this one and I no longer have to spray outside with a respirator on and wait for days until the smell goes away and it cures. Oh, it's not expensive either!