There are many refinishing options. Some folks just want the piece restored to it's function,, not really too concerned about what it looks like. Others want the piece restored to the look they remember it having long ago. Some just want the piece "dressed up", that is,, the piece "brought back to life".
Below is an example of a piece from the 1860's I restored for a couple here in Albuquerque. The first picture is the piece before I worked on it, and the picture underneath is the finished product.
Let's face it, we live in challenging economic times. A piece of furniture can usually be repaired at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new one. Especially if it is made out of real wood.
But even if it's not, some furniture can be repaired,, even if constructed out of particle board. Let me take a look at your piece before you throw it away, to see if something can be done. While the repair may not be as visually pleasing as the original, in many cases the piece can remain functional.
The pictures below are of a rocking chair that "needed some work", and
the rocker after I was finished working on it.