There are few projects I enjoy more than installing a new 3/4 tongue and groove hardwood floor.  Laminate flooring has it's place but at the end of the day it is a five to ten year installation.  When you lay a true hardwood floor chances are pretty good that flooring will be in use for seventy five to one hundred years!  I can't think of a greener flooring application than one that is readily repairable and replaceable.  Which is more environmentally friendly producing, shipping and installing one floor or eight?
The first step in installing a hardwood floor is evaluating the site conditions.  Checking any concrete for moisture content, making sure the subfloor is sound and nailable (particle board is not a suitable substrate for nailed hardwood installation) and any other site factors that may impact design decisions.
Once the foundation is verified to be sound you can proceed to choosing the flooring that fits your aesthetic sense and achieves your real estate investment objectives.  A quick search of the web can provide Janka hardness ratings for every conceivable species of wood.  Domestic red oak, white oak, cherry or maple are all excellent cost effective choices.
Acclimation follows purchase and delivery of the flooring.  It is critical that the subfloor that the hardwood is installed over be within 2% of moisture content of the flooring to be installed.  Checking the moisture content will prevent the floor from unduly buckling, cupping or gaping.  All wood floors will expand and contract during the seasons; the object of the exercise is to narrow that range of movement by ensuring moisture content of the flooring remain as stable as possible.
The floor should be installed over an under layment of aquabar or roofing felt.  This slip sheet will make the entire installation smoother and also help protect the installation.  The flooring should be nailed off every 6-8 inches and laid out to avoid 'h' joints.  Once the floor is installed you can stand back and compliment your self on a job well done (if it is a prefinished floor).  If not it's time to get back down on your knees and sand and finish the installation!