There are a number of issues that come together in this topic.
One is the fundamental difference between the softwoods and the hard
woods. They are not the same.
Another has to do with supply, both in terms of retail availability and
forest management. What is usually available is good enough for things
like framing a house but often not much else, so it gets a reputation
that it's good enough for framing but not much else, so the supply is
managed to make lumber that is good enough for framing but not much
Finally, as has been noted, not all wood is created equally. Cherry,
maple, oak and walnut all have characteristics which make them less
than ideal for some aplication or another. White pine from Home Despot
won't compare favorably to any of them but it won't compare favorably
to cypress either.