We have 4 kids, 2 grandkids, a cat and visiting kids and pets. I wouldn't think of wood for us. Several friends have just themselves and their wives with very occaional visits from grandkids. They can live very well with wood floors. One in particular has a hickory floor that I would love to have. Part of the reason that it works for him is that he can go out to the barn and find a replacement board, or saw a new one and dry it, anytime he chooses. I think that this plays a part in how they live with their wood floor in the kitchen.
As far as installation for it to last, I'll try to give you some insite. An installation over 3/4" T&G plywood with 3/4" wood having T&G grooves on the sides and nailed into the joists where possible is about as good as you can get. You may hear the wood and nails talking to you occasionally, but you shouldn't have too much if you drive the nails through the tongues at a good angle and set them.
I have had pretty good results with Parks Oil Modified Pro Finisher, an oil based poly, on other high traffic areas. You can finish by sanding, a spit coat of shellac, staining to your desired color and then 2-3 coats of poly well dried and scuff sanded between coats just like you would finish many wood items for good durability. Wiping up water so it doesn't leave white water rings in the finish quickly will make maintenance a lot easier.