I felt a little bold deviating from the plans when this was my first project. But I saw another version of this desk with the breadboard ends, and I really appreciated the added craftsmanship this gave off. Other than the top, I followed the plans to a T. For the top, I made this from 2x6's with the 4 lengthwise pieces cut to 61" and the ends to 22" (I think I ended up trimming the ends down to match better, but 22 was a good starting point). As for the finish, I layered stains starting with Minwax's Classic Grey followed by Minwax's Jacobean. I made two of these desks to put in our home office. If I think of it once the office is complete and decorated, I'll add another pic!
2nd Layer - Minwax Jacobean