At home I have several wooden pieces of furniture which are either varnished, oiled or waxed. I don't paint everything!
But it might surprise you that my decision not to paint them has nothing to do with its age, expense, lovely wood grain or exotic timbers. Its purely visual. If it looks better in wood I leave it. If it looks better painted I paint it.
What! You mean you might paint an antique mahogany dressing table?
Yes I might!
Painting something isn't the absolute end of the world.
It doesn't destroy the sub-surface in anyway.
THE WOOD IS STILL THERE.
There are gentle paint strippers on the market that will successfully bring it back to its former glory if I change my mind down the track. There's no need to base painting decisions on the preciousness of the wood, but instead on your desire for painted furniture. Or not.
And if you STILL can't decide, go half-and-half like the side table in the pic above. Problem solved.