What you use will depend on the effect you want to achieve and the end use of the project. For general all around protection and ease of application I would use an oil based brushing poly thinned with naphtha and applied with a wrag. I'd use gloss, apply several coats and then rub it out to whatever sheen I wanted starting with the equivalent of 0000 sttel wool, and working up to an automotive rubbing compound.
Starnge that a fews years ago when I talked about using automotive rubbing compound on the forum of a certain woodworking magazine there were all sorts of nay sayers. recently I've seen sefveral articles from the big name pro finishers recommending it. Guess it's not what works, but who says it sometimes.