Every couple of years, I batch out a pile of end-grain cutting boards. This year, I ended up with 12 of the more involved patterns (basket weave and running-bond bricks) made from walnut and maple and 10 of the less dramatically patterened cherry boards.
These are incredibly popular gifts and will last a lifetime (I have been using one daily for about 7 years and it looks almost like the day I made it). The end-grain orientation is more difficult to produce, but it results in a board that barely shows any cut marks from usage. Since the knife blade slides between the ends of the wood fibers, they just close back up when the blade is removed. The fibers of a face-grained board, on the other hand, are severed by the blade and will look terrible with just a small amount of usage.